CAREER EXPERT feat Chris Mead | Issue 77 of HEADHUNT


Dear Chris,

Now the economy has recovered, what are the chances of getting a pay rise? How would you suggest I go about making my case?


Dear Dwana,

Singapore’s economy bounced back strongly last year and today many employers, particularly those in finance, banking, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and IT, are hiring aggressively. Given demand, skills shortages are already starting to dominate the market, and so salaries are  increasing.

The 2011 Hays Salary Guide shows that almost two thirds (62 per cent) of all employers expect to increase salaries between three and six percent in their next review. A further 20 per cent of the workforce in Singapore can expect salary increases above 6 per cent.

This means you are in a much stronger position than you have been in the last three years to ask for a salary review. To do this, we suggest you firstly prepare a list of your recent achievements that exceed your objectives. You may need to look back at your original job description. Also list  any changed/rising work volumes or duties you’re now undertaking.

Then list the resulting benefit to the company. The aim here is to provide  strong evidence to support the value you provide. Then research the salary you feel your performance and results are worth by reviewing a recent Salary Guide. This enables you to back up your request with  evidence and demonstrate that the salary you are asking for is in line with current market rates.

Ask your manager for a meeting to review your salary. When it comes time for this meeting, keep it professional. Stay calm and focused. Do not  become emotional and do not talk of how much money you need, such as rising bills or mortgage repayments. Keep your review purely  professional.

Have a fall-back position. If your employer cannot afford to increase your salary, can you agree a date for another pay review in three or six months? What about additional annual leave, study or other benefits?

Above all, use your accomplishments and the value you add to the organisation as the basis of your negotiation, and you will soon be on a top executive job.

Good luck.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


Chris Mead
General Manager
HAYS Singapore

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