The art of asking for a pay rise: How employers evaluate pay rise requests

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Published: 4 July, 2023
Employees looking to maximise the value of their pay rise this financial year must highlight exceptional individual performance and undertake valued work, according to recruitment and workforce solutions specialists Hays.
The FY23-24 Hays Salary Guide found that a significant majority (87%) of employers view individual performance as the most important factor when evaluating pay rise requests. Other key factors include the responsibilities of the role (52%), external typical salaries for the role (38%), the organisation’s performance (24%), the employee’s expertise (22%) and the organisation’s set pay structure (19%).
“We know that 95% of employers will increase salaries in their next review, but with salary increase budgets under pressure, employees must make the best possible case to maximise the value of their pay rise this year,” says David Trollope, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.
“Many people find asking for or negotiating a salary increase a daunting task. It’s never easy to ask for more money but it’s necessary for anyone who wants to maximise their
“To boost your chances of a stronger pay rise, you must prepare a persuasive case.”

Tips to maximise the value of your next pay rise

When it comes time to ask for or negotiate your next pay rise, preparation is key:
  1. Prepare your evidence: “Firstly demonstrate to your boss why you deserve a raise,” says David. “It’s not enough to talk about the rising cost of living. Instead, focus on your individual performance and the importance of your responsibilities. 

    “Showcase that in the past year you’ve consistently exceeded performance expectations, met targets and made a significant contribution to the team’s or organisation’s success. List the additional responsibilities you’ve taken on and the duties you perform that are crucial to the organisation. Highlight the value of your expertise.

    “Back this up with specific and quantifiable evidence. For instance, perhaps you are managing a 20% increase in the overall volume of work or were involved in a project that exceeded objectives.”
  2. Research typical salaries for similar roles: “Thanks to the focus on pay transparency and staff retention, external typical salaries are also a factor in employers’ pay decisions,” notes David. “Review recent salary guides to back up your request with evidence from the current market.”
  3. Set a meeting: “Ask your manager for a meeting to review your salary and maintain a professional manner throughout,” he says. “Present your evidence, then listen to their feedback. Remember, this is a conversation.”
  4. Be willing to negotiate: “Be prepared to discuss the salary you feel your results are worth but consider how much you are willing to compromise,” says David. “It can help to have a top and bottom figure in mind that you think would be fair.”
  5. Have a contingency plan: “If you can’t reach an agreement, can you settle on a date for another pay review in six months?” asks David. “Or could additional benefits bridge the divide, like more flexibility, improved work-life balance or a promotional plan?”
The Hays Salary Guide is based on a survey of 1,904 organisations and 2,048 professionals in New Zealand. Download your copy of the Hays Salary Guide today.  
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For further information please contact Kathryn Crowden at kathryn.crowden@hays.com.au.

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