Maybe this sounds familiar: It’s the hottest job market in recent memory and your company is growing. Since unemployment is at 50-year lows, new members to your team are being brought in at a premium in order to attract top-level talent. Your 2-4% annual raise is being outpaced by the market leaving proven contributors who have already been in the trenches to feel alienated, underpaid and underappreciated. After thinking about the salary for weeks or months, it’s time to ask for a raise. So now what?
Never negotiate anything unless you are prepared to walk away. Before you go down the road of asking for a raise, you need to figure out what you’ll do if the conversation doesn’t go the way you want.
Leverage in negotiation comes from figuring out the other side’s best alternative and making your best alternative seem as strong as possible.
As part of your research, we recommend you work with a consultative recruiter such as RX2 Solutions.
Timing is everything. Find the appropriate time to have the conversation and make sure that the meeting is scheduled ahead of time. A good time to address the topic is during an annual or quarterly review. If your company doesn’t have regular reviews good timing might be after a big win or the completion of a successful project.
Come prepared. Prepare everything that you can ahead of time from rehearsing what you are going to say, doing your research, and controlling the things that you can control. Clearly state your good reasons for asking for a raise. Keep the conversation focused on you and keep it positive. Come up with a business case or proposition as to why you deserve the raise and include successes that you’ve had (especially recent successes), performance compared to goal and highlighting the value that you bring to the organization.
Avoid bad reasons. Bad reasons include discussing what others are making or doing, threatening to leave or quit, or steering the conversation away from facts.
Clearly define the next steps. End the meeting by establishing a timeline for the next steps so that you can hold management accountable for a timeline for getting you an answer.
Get whatever is agreed to in writing. It doesn’t need to be as formal as a new employment contract (yet), but whatever is decided at the end of the meeting, it’s a best practice to write it down so everyone is on the same page. It can be as simple as an email to your manager recapping the conversation/next steps and asking them to confirm that everything in your email is correct.
Part 2 of this article will focus on Negotiating Your Salary when looking for a new opportunity. If you believe you are at the point where are ready to start actively or passively looking for a new role, feel free to reach out to RX2 Solutions and we would be happy to discuss with you further. You can reach us via email at email@example.com or 610.340.3490