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How to get the pay rise you’re after

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

As we enter the new financial year, some may be taking this time to ask for an increase in wages.

With inflationary pressure making life hard for many Australians, knowing what to expect from pay discussions with your employer can help you to prepare and get the increase you’re after.

According to the FY23–24 Hays Salary Guide, 84 per cent of employers recognise individual performance as the most significant factor when deciding on pay rises.


Other factors, as listed by Hays, are:

  • Responsibilities of the role (54 per cent)
  • External typical salaries for the role (34 per cent)
  • The organisation’s performance (24 per cent)
  • The employee’s expertise (21 per cent)
  • The organisation’s set pay structure (20 per cent)

Matthew Dickason, Hays Asia-Pacific chief executive, commented: “We know that 95 per cent of employers will increase salaries in their next review, but with salary increase budgets under pressure, employees must make the best possible case to maximise the value of their pay rise this year.”

“Many people find asking for or negotiating a salary increase a daunting task. It’s never easy to ask for more money, but it’s necessary for anyone who wants to maximise their worth. To boost your chances of a stronger pay rise, you must prepare a persuasive case.”

To help get the most out of pay rise negotiations, Mr Dickason listed five key steps to consider:

1. Prepare your evidence: “Firstly, demonstrate to your boss why you deserve a raise. It’s not enough to talk about the rising cost of living. Instead, focus on your individual performance and the importance of your responsibilities,” said Mr Dickason.

“Showcase that in the past year you’ve consistently exceeded performance expectations, met targets and made a significant contribution to the team’s or organisation’s success. List the additional responsibilities you’ve taken on and the duties you perform that are crucial to the organisation. Highlight the value of your expertise.”

He continued: “Back this up with specific and quantifiable evidence. For instance, perhaps you are managing a 20 per cent increase in the overall volume of work or were involved in a project that exceeded objectives.”

2. Research typical salaries for similar roles: “Thanks to the focus on pay transparency and staff retention, external typical salaries are also a factor in employers’ pay decisions. Review recent salary guides to back up your request with evidence from the current market,” Mr Dickason explained.

3. Set a meeting: “Ask your manager for a meeting to review your salary and maintain a professional manner throughout. Present your evidence, then listen to their feedback. Remember, this is a conversation,” he said.

4. Be willing to negotiate: “Be prepared to discuss the salary you feel your results are worth but consider how much you are willing to compromise. It can help to have a top and bottom figure in mind that you think would be fair.”

5. Have a contingency plan: “If you can’t reach an agreement, can you settle on a date for another pay review in six months? Or could additional benefits bridge the divide, like more flexibility, improved work/life balance or a promotional plan?” Mr Dickason concluded.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.