Careers advice: How planners should negotiate for a pay rise in the current market

Published on: 9 Mar 2014

Pay negotiations

1) It is important to adopt a constructive strategy for salary negotiation, taking a mature and objective approach by detailing how your role has changed, for instance in terms of increased responsibility, and highlighting the contribution you have made to organisational performance.

2) I would advise against trying to negotiate a pay rise purely on the basis that you “think you deserve one”. Similarly, avoid discussions that focus on opinion, which have the potential to become emotionally charged.

3) Generally salaries are dictated by market conditions. Therefore it is advisable to have a good grasp of comparable salaries for similar roles paid by other organisations and competitors, as if your level of remuneration is below the market average, this will further strengthen your case. In certain circumstances, you may find that you are paid above the national average or direct competitors. In these circumstances it may be best not to request a pay rise.

4) One of the most constructive and positive ways in which to obtain or negotiate a pay rise is to ask for additional work, responsibility or to “act-up” in a more senior capacity (should the need arise), with a view to a future salary increase based on pre-agreed timescales and measurable performance criteria.

5) It is important to ensure that all salary negotiations are treated with the utmost discretion. Therefore it is important to avoid discussing your intentions or progress with colleagues and peers who are not directly involved in the negotiation.

6) Finally, I would advise against adopting an aggressive tone or strategy when negotiating a pay rise, such as making threats to leave or other demands that could be construed as holding the employer to ransom. This can severely affect your relationship with colleagues and standing in the organisation.