Pay me more!  And this is how to do it

23 Sep 2019

When you are working in a corporate communications team for a company or for an agency asking for a pay rise can be a tricky issue. Whether you are working for an agency, or have moved over to that prized in-house role, how do you keep asking each year to be paid at market rate? Your salary can quickly stagnate when you are sitting in the same role, at the same level, for a few years.

Here’s our advice on how to go about ensuring you get a pay rise for yourself and your team that leaves you feeling valued and happy to keep working in the same role.

Do your homework

Before you ask for a pay rise, make sure you are up to date on your worth by gathering some supportive market data. We are frequently told that our annual guide has helped secured you and your team a pay rise. This is great to hear!

Our Salary Guide will of course provide useful insights into average salaries and bonuses for all levels in both in-house companies and agencies. For the latest figures, check out the tables on pages 12-13 of the Annual Salary Guide 2019 – look at our ‘recommended range’ as this will show you the most common salary ranges for each role, with an ‘average salary’ as your guide. It is important to note that the ranges shown do take into account that some industry sectors, such as financial services, tend to pay at the upper end of a salary bracket.

Demonstrate your value

Book a meeting (monthly review, salary review, one-to-one) and show grace, gratitude and calm emotions to your employer. Point out in clear, specific detail what extra revenue, cost savings, systems and time savings you have brought to the company. Measure it against what it would have been without your role or input. Perhaps, measure against others at the same level in the team – how do you stand out? What have you achieved recently that is worth your employer noticing? What evidence have you got of going over and above? Have it printed out/evidenced. Then politely request your raise.

Stay calm and professional at all times

Take a step back from the situation, shake off any irritation you may be feeling, be a pro.

Don’t make threats you have no intention of carrying out: saying you’re definitely going to leave if you don’t get a pay rise looks rather spineless if you’re still there a year later on the same salary.

If your boss can’t offer you a pay rise, you feel like you’ve tried everything you can, but you don’t want to leave just yet, ask what they can offer you. Can you get extra holiday from the company? Are there training opportunities, or could you take a sabbatical? Chances are your boss will be keen to offer you something, even if they can’t do much about your salary right now. Also ask, when can this be reviewed again.

Reality check

Some bosses will clearly outline goals and timings to work towards that pay rise, but some might not. You can only afford to invest your precious time and talent working for somebody who deserves you. If you are underpaid relative to the market and it’s not working for you anymore, then you owe it to yourself to look around for a job that will reward you appropriately. The average pay increase when moving roles is 12% from our findings.

Show confidence!

Stop putting off the conversation and justifying everything that is good about your job when you know that you are being paid less than you should be. Remember, it’s about the worth of your role to the company and the market, not your worth as a person. When your employer replaces you, they will have to pay the market rate to replace you and perhaps a recruitment agency fee. It’s much cheaper to keep you happy than to replace you. Do your homework, keep your cool and ask for that meeting.

To download a copy of The Works Search’s Salary Guide, click here.

Salary Survey 2018 - 2019