Negotiating your salary

 Green traffic light arrow pointing up

Asking your boss for a raise – or your new employer for a higher starting salary – is never an easy conversation to have.  

How can you prove you’re the right person for a promotion or to take on new responsibilities?




Prepartion is key. When first raising the matter, you need to present a clear and confident argument for your pay rise. This will primarily come down to the amount and type of preparation you have put into the meeting.

Before starting any discussion, make sure you can answer these 5 questions to ensure that you are fully prepared.

1. Why are you worth it?

Focus on the value you bring to the company, note your accomplishments, and attach time and money to them. 

If you're just starting out, you might not have hard numbers to prove your worth. In that case, pitch your enthusiasm and work ethic. 

2. How is the company doing?

It is important to understand how a company is performing. Have they posted record profits for the previous year, or is their financial performance below their targets? Have they made many redundancies in the past 12 months?

All of these factors will have an effect on whether the organisation is going to pay above/below or on the market rate salary for a role.

3. How much do employees with similar skills/roles earn?

"The Robert Walters Salary Survey provides detailed information on salaries across a wide range of sectors and is a useful tool to utilise."

Research the market and find out how much employees carrying out similar roles are paid. The key is to to present a clear and confident argument with examples of similar jobs both inside and outside the organisation. 

"Remember that as specialists in their field, recruitment consultants have the most current and accurate market knowledge and are well placed to assist candidates negotiating salary.” said Özlem Simsek, Managing Director of Robert Walters Belgium. 

4. What are general market conditions in your sector like?

Is there a shortage of candidates with your skill set in the industry you work in? Have general salaries been rising or falling with in the sector? Are there a high number of roles appropriate to your skill set available in the sector?

It is important you know the answers to all of these questions in order for you to understand what level of salary you are able to request and what is realistic. Understanding how the company is performing is key.

5. Are there are any salary trade-offs?

Try not to be lured into a false sense of satisfaction when being offered a top-line salary figure. Make sure you are aware of any potential trade-offs.

A higher salary could mean you might lose out on certain benefits such as bonuses for example. If you are entering into a new role, make sure you have taken into account your new travel time and your new working hours.

Alternatively, if your employer is unable to offer you the salary you are seeking, consider whether there are other benefits such as a company car, free health insurance, gym membership or other perks, you could consider as an adequate trade.


Want to find out how much you're worth?

Contact one of our experienced consultants today.

Light blue arrow representing an arrow pointing right

Set up a targeted

job alert 

Read more »
Woman looking at tablet after office hours

Career advice  

Read more »
Row of yellow neon lights on theater ceiling

Network your way to success 

Read more »
Row of neon arrows pointing to the right

Refer a friend 

Read more »
Woman with brown hair walking outside

Find your next job 

Read more »

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin at metus purus. Proin eu nunc vitae orci efficitur laoreet. Maecenas at nibh tortor. Vivamus cursus purus arcu, et tristique eros ornare quis. Suspendisse eget viverra odio, vel euismod justo. Vestibulum a elit sapien. Curabitur varius nunc in mi bibendum bibendum.