How to negotiate a salary


Negotiating a higher salary can be a challenge in the existing market and also intimidating for many professionals. As a result, knowing how to even raise the issue in the first place can be difficult.

Here are some tips to help you maximise your chances of getting the salary you deserve.


Preparation is key

Regardless of how long you have been in the position, you need to prepare a compelling argument why you deserve. The more reasons and data you provide to support your claims, the higher chance you will have to succeed. For example, preparing accurate figures on cost-savings due to procedures you have implemented can help strengthen your argument for a higher salary.

Researching the market rate

Researching the going market rate for someone in your role and where you fit with this is generally a good start. This information can be found in market reports or online. For example, our latest market updates and Salary Survey provide an overview of rates and salaries across a variety of industries. Alternatively, your recruitment consultant deals with this sort of information on a daily basis, so asking them for advice is another option. Regardless of whether you are in line with the market rate for your role, you need to consider the reasons for the next proposed pay rise.

Negotiating a higher salary can be a challenge in the existing market and also intimidating for many professionals.

Discreetly raise the issue

When you first raise the issue, do it discreetly and away from your colleagues. Booking half an hour with your line manager in a private meeting room is better than a ‘quick word’. It is because it allows you to outline exactly why you deserve a higher rate reason-by-reason.

Be confident in your arguments

During the negotiation, you need to make a clear and confident case for increasing your salary. Unless you genuinely believe you deserve more, you will have trouble convincing your manager. Again, this will primarily come down to the amount and type of preparation you have put into the negotiation.

It is also important not to get agitated when your manager questions or shows sign of disagreement with your arguments. Throughout the meeting, you will need to demonstrate clear understanding of your employer and where you fit in the organisation, and the role and how your skills are relevant to it.

Find out what you're currently worth by reading our Global Salary Survey.

For more hints and tips, please visit our Career Advice page.

If you would like to discuss your career options, please feel free to contact our consultants.

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