How to prepare for a salary negotiation: A comprehensive guide

Asking for a pay rise can be nerve-wracking at best and terrifyingly stressful at worst. The process of professionally engaging in a pay rise negotiation does not have to be as stressful as you may have thought, however.

In this article, we will help alleviate as much of the stress as possible to help you confidently broach the topic of more pay with your employer.

The value of asking for a pay rise

Requesting a salary increase is a crucial step for individuals to take. While the immediate benefit is an increase in financial compensation, it also reflects how much an employee is valued and the impact they have on the organisation, like a promotion.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that most employees don’t receive a substantial pay raise without initiating the conversation. It’s unlikely that even the most considerate bosses or benevolent companies will be the ones to propose a salary increase. Hence, the significance of making a professional and persuasive request cannot be overstated.

Preparing for a pay rise negotiation

To prepare for a pay rise negotiation, it’s crucial to take the following steps:

Enhance your skills

Demonstrating that you deserve a pay rise often involves showcasing how you bring additional value to the company. Upskilling yourself is a great way to achieve this as it shows that you are developing professionally and providing extra value to your employer.

Research the market

Before initiating a pay rise discussion, research the salary range for your role and responsibilities among other employers. Having a clear understanding of your market value will make you more confident and better prepared to negotiate. Conduct research into other salaries for similar positions across different companies and industries.

Maintain a record

Keep a record of times where you have achieved excellent results or exceeded expectations in your role. This will provide evidence of your contributions beyond vague generalisations, thereby strengthening your case. Start writing down a list of your accomplishments, successes, and contributions to the company.

Rehearse your pitch

Practice your pitch beforehand to ensure that you are confident, assertive, and well-prepared for the negotiation.

Have a contingency plan

If the negotiation doesn’t go as planned, maintain a professional demeanour, and have a backup plan. Knowing your next steps will help you stay composed and focused, even if you don’t get the outcome you were hoping for.

Have an open mind

Despite presenting a well-crafted and rational proposal, pay rise requests can still be turned down due to reasons beyond your control. Being cognisant of this possibility and having a backup plan in place can aid in strategising for next steps if the negotiation does not go as intended.

Read the policies

Make sure you are across your company’s policies and procedures for requesting a raise.

How to tackle negotiations during the pay rise meeting

Be open to negotiation with your employer and prepare yourself for push-back whether that is in the form of negating your past successes or the complexity of the company’s financial situation. To maximize the chances of a successful pay rise negotiation, we suggest adopting these best practices:

Stick to the facts

Your pitch should focus on your accomplishments and contributions and be supported by research on the market value of your role. Avoid making emotional appeals or arguing why you need the money. Be concise and persuasive.

Stay level-headed

Be realistic, recognising that every company and situation is unique. Be open to negotiation and discussion of non-salary benefits if a higher pay increase is not possible.

Stay professional

Staying professional throughout the negotiation is crucial. It demonstrates that you are approaching the discussion in a reasonable and composed manner, even in the face of disagreement.

Here are a couple of don’ts to that end:

  • Do not compare yourself to your colleagues.
  • Do not threaten to resign if you do not get a pay rise.
  • Do not be discouraged if you don’t succeed initially.
  • Do not make demands or accusations.
  • Do not be stubborn and unwilling to discuss and/or compromise.

Follow up

After the pay rise negotiation, it is advisable to follow up with your employer to confirm any agreements made during the meeting or to express gratitude for their time, regardless of the outcome. This can have a positive impact on your professional relationship and may even contribute to future success.

Perth’s most trusted recruitment agency

Asking for a pay rise can be a nerve-wracking process, but by following the best practices outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to be clear, realistic, and professional throughout the negotiation process. And if you’re looking for a new job opportunity or need help with your career, don’t hesitate to reach out to Scotford Fennessy, Perth’s best recruitment agency.

Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your career goals.

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