CAREER EXPERT feat Chris Mead | Issue 64 of HEADHUNT
My annual review is
coming up in soon and despite my achievements I am nervous about asking for a
pay increase. Do you have any advice to ensure
I approach it the
right way? I really don’t want to wait another year until my next review.
Asking for a salary increase in executive jobs can be
daunting and we often get asked for similar advice.
You are certainly in a much better
position this year than 12 months ago. Job numbers are rising in all industries, including accountant jobs and IT jobs, and for the first time in Singapore’s
recovery job vacancies now slightly outnumber job seekers. Skills shortages are already emerging,
so salary pressure is returning and to be competitive employers will need to re-examine their
But despite this you should not expect
an automatic or hefty salary increase. If you want to negotiate a pay rise with your present
employer, we suggest you:
1. Prepare a list of your recent
achievements that exceed your objectives (if this is your first review, look back at your original job
description). List the resulting benefit to the company. This gives you strong evidence to support the
value you are providing to the business.
2. Also list any changed/rising work
volumes or duties you’re now undertaking.
3. Be realistic. State the salary you
feel your performance and results are worth, and back it up with evidence from a Salary Guide to
show it is in line with current market rates.
4. Keep your salary review discussion
professional. Stay calm and focused. Do not become emotional and do not talk of how much
money you need – eg rising bills, mortgage repayments. Keep your review purely professional.
5. 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 company as the basis of your negotiation.
If you are realistic in your
expectations, show how you can add value and take the advice of a recruiting expert, a salary increase is
likely to follow over the coming year in line with the market’s renewed optimism.
For those who are job searching, we
still advise you to focus on finding a role that will add to your suite of skills and will offer
opportunity with the right organisation. Don’t price yourself out of contention with over-inflated salary