Negotiating a raise can be a tricky conversation to tackle, but it’s worthwhile if it means being fairly compensated for the value that you provide to your employer. The first thing you need to know is that asking for a raise is normal and avoiding it can impede your career growth.
The parts that make asking for a raise challenging are knowing when to ask, how much to ask for, and knowing how to navigate the negotiation process. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you start this tough conversation and find a solution that works for everyone.
Start Off Strong
Your first opportunity to negotiate your salary is during the onboarding process. “The perfect time to negotiate your salary is right at the beginning of the employment relationship when you get an offer letter. Many people worry about the company rescinding the offer if they ask for more money, but that rarely happens,” Cindy Harvey, Employment Consultant within the ACCES HR Connections program explains. “At this stage, the company has no interest in starting the hiring process all over again. They want to hire you so see that as an opportunity to have a friendly conversation about the dollars and cents,” she adds.
Cindy suggests opening the conversation by restating how excited you are about the role, so your employer knows that you want to accept. Next, be reasonable in your request, so that they see you as a fair negotiator (and future colleague). Lastly, articulate your value by backing it up with examples of how your past accomplishments will contribute to their organizational goals. According to Cindy, following these three steps will set you up to “have a productive conversation that just may result in a few extra dollars in your pocket.”
When Asking for a Raise, Timing is Everything
Most employers are more likely to grant you a raise when you’ve been with the company for a year or more. If you’ve been with your company an appropriate amount of time, it’s always a good idea to negotiate a raise shortly after an event that showcases your value to your employer. This could be after a favourable performance review, after completing a successful project, or after your employer posts high quarterly earnings. Timing is everything and it is best when your wins are fresh in the mind of your employer.
How Much of a Raise Should You Request?
Determining how much to request from your employer varies based on your particular situation. It’s standard to ask for up to 10% more than you are currently earning. Other factors to consider are your salary in relation to other professionals in your field and your geographic location. Do some research to determine the standard salary range for someone in your position with your qualifications, and factor-in your location, experience, and the cost of living in your area.
How to Approach Negotiations
Preparation is important to successful negotiations. Have examples of your work ready so you can demonstrate the value you provide to the company. Approach your pitch by trying to persuade your employer you are a valuable resource—for instance, if competing companies have expressed interest in your talents, it may be a good point of leverage to tactfully bring up during negotiations. Express yourself clearly and confidently and show that you are well-informed within your industry as well as within your company.
You were hired for a reason, and you’ve remained an employee because you bring value to your company. Similar to the interview process, this is an opportunity for you to pitch yourself and ensure that you’re adequately compensated for all that you do.
At ACCES, most of our clients stay connected through our Alumni Network, taking advantage of ongoing support, lifelong learning opportunities, and giving back to the community. We can help with career advice, post-hire support and more!