How to Ask for (and Get) a Pay Rise


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21st November 2018

The majority of us feel like we should all be paid more. Whether it’s because you’re working longer hours or weekends, or overdue a pay rise or promotion, you are not alone. Over 60% of employees feel the same way, and they may well be right. In one survey Glassdoor found that the majority of its users are being underpaid by nearly £5,000 a year; and in another, that workers in the UK are missing out on an estimated £2.7 billion each year. So, perhaps it’s time to start talking about a pay rise, and how to close that £5,000 discrepancy, here are a few small tips to help you get started:

1. Median v. Medium
When I say do your research, that doesn’t necessarily mean stalking over to your nearest colleague and demanding their payslip – although it could. But for many, the best and easiest place to look is online. Glassdoor, for example, offers free personalised estimates based on current market conditions. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your own research too. Go on LinkedIn, find people with similar positions and degrees of experience, then contact them and ask about their circumstances. You might well receive more than one or two push backs but phrased in the right way you’d be surprised at what people are willing to mention. Another quick and easy solution is to try recruitment firms, particularly sector specialists like Hanning, who know from extensive experience what people in your position should be expecting.
Whilst you are looking elsewhere though, just be mindful of the fact that a lot of wage statistics refer to the median, not the average, HR will most definitely catch you out on that.

2. Be Likeable, but Willing to be Unlikeable
This is easier said then done, but the point here is this: your boss isn’t going to pay you more if you run into their office ranting and raving, there is an etiquette to this. Schedule a meeting, don’t ask for a raise in front of others. And more importantly, take the emotion out of the equation. The fact of the matter might well be that your company just doesn’t have the residual funds to give you that raise, getting angry about it helps no one.
So be likeable, but also don’t let that stop you from arguing your case. Don’t be afraid to ask for an answer in the room. Too many employees get brushed off by vague answers about a review in a week’s time. And if there really is no immediate answer, then set a date for when there will be one and follow-up.

3. If you have been Approached maybe Talk about It
One of the best ways to sell yourself is social proofing: everyone wants what everyone wants. If you have been approached by prospective employers recently, and I’m talking serious job offers – not a one-off LinkedIn message, perhaps mention that next time a pay rise crops up. Obviously, there is a certain way to go about this, all of this advice should be used at your discretion. But illustrating the fact that the value you bring to the company is more than apparent to both you and the company’s competitors, can be just that extra nudge to garner your case some serious attention.

So, if you are concerned about being underpaid, perhaps give these ideas a try. But if you’re in the midst of your research and still feel clueless, or maybe just need a few extra negotiating techniques, then you are more than welcome to drop by at Hanning Recruitment for a quick and confidential one-on-one conversation.