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Looking for a pay rise this year? How you should approach it and when

Posted about 3 years ago by Rob Markwell
Payrise Gen

Working in recruitment, we make sure we keep up to date with the latest trends and insights, but when we discovered that 88% of employees are looking for a pay rise before summer 2021 in our recent Linkedin poll, like many businesses we were fairly surprised.


Why do employees want pay rises?

There are a number of reasons an employee may want a pay rise, some of the most common are:

  • They have taken on a higher workload in recent months.

  • Their skills have developed; either through company or independent training.

  • They entered the role at a lower salary than their previous position.

  • They have take on management responsibilities.

  • They have contributed significantly to business growth.

  • They consistently hit targets.

  • They have another opportunity and want a counter offer.

The business perspective

Whatever your reason for wanting a pay rise it is also important to consider the business/employers perspective before asking. This is all the more vital in the current market as many businesses are still in a phase of recovery following subsequent lockdowns and income losses during 2020.

Before asking it may be wise to consider the following to gain a good sense of whether now is the right time:

  • Have sales and performance targets been hit within the business.

  • Is income stable and/or recovering?

  • Is the business looking at hiring new employees?

  • Has everyone returned from furlough and/or temporarily working reduced hours?

  • Is the business looking to invest in other areas?

If the answer is no to many of the above, now may not be the best time to request a pay rise. However if you do feel like it should be on the cards in the near future, there is no harm in bringing it up during a performance review or meeting. This way an employer can gain a sense of how you may be feeling in the business and in the upcoming months may be able to provide a clear roadmap for how and when you can achieve your desired salary.

How to ask for a pay rise

Asking for a pay rise can be an awkward conversation to have, however this shouldn’t be the case if you are confident in your cause.

Before asking, consider why you want this. Sure, earning some extra income is great, but what have you really done to justify it? Businesses now more than ever are going to want to know the ins and outs before they invest more money, and the reasons why can be as simple as some of those listed above.

However, when asking it is wise to go a step further and highlight the impact you have made within the business and (if applicable) to its revenue.

For instance, if you have taken on additional workload, what have you taken on and how has this impacted those around you and business processes? Approaching the topic with a commercial focus is likely to ensure you communicate more effectively with management, and may make you more successful in gaining your desired end result.

How much should I ask for?

If you are stuck on how much you should be asking for when requesting a pay rise, our salary surveys are a fantastic starting point. Combining location with role level, our salary surveys provide a benchmark of industry averages for most roles in the marketing, digital, creative and sales sectors.

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Header: Image adapted from Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels