Skip to content
Hays - Recruiting experts worldwide
  1. I am
    I am

How to secure or conduct a pay rise: salary negotiation advice from Hays

Updated: 14 Apr 2016



Preparation and evidence will help you secure a pay rise this salary review season, says recruiting experts Hays in China.  And if you are charged with reviewing salaries in your organisation, the recruiter’s one blanket rule is to conduct salary reviews positively and constructively.  


“China’s jobs market is active and there have been a number of recent positive salary trends,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China. “With the appropriate planning you can put yourself in a strong position to secure the pay rise you want. Employers too need to plan for salary reviews, but their biggest challenge comes in assigning the correct monetary figure to performance,” he said.


Tips for employees:

Here is Hays’s advice on how to secure a pay rise:


1.     Review achievements: “Firstly prepare a list of your recent achievements that exceed your objectives,” says Simon. “You may need to look back at your original job description. Also list any changed or rising work volumes or duties you’re now undertaking and consider projects you’ve been involved in.”


2.     List benefits: “Then list the resulting benefit to the company from your results. The aim here is to provide strong evidence to support the value you provide, so focus on outcomes,” he said.


3.     Research: “Next, research the salary you feel your performance and results are worth by reviewing a recent Salary Guide. This allows you to back up your request with evidence and demonstrate that the salary you are asking for is in line with current market rates,” says Simon.


4.     Remain professional: “During the meeting remain professional, polite, calm and focused. Keep your tone mutually cooperative. Do not become emotional or talk of how much money you need. Stay on track by referring to your achievements, the resulting benefits and current salary trends.”


5.     Have a contingency plan: “Have a fall-back position,” says Simon. “If your employer cannot afford to increase your salary, can you agree a date for another pay review in six months?  What about a promotion or benefits? And what about long-term career development, which is ultimately more important than short-term monetary rewards? Go into the meeting with a plan in place in case you need to compromise.”


Above all, use your accomplishments as the basis of your discussion. As Simon says, “The value you add to the organisation should be the focus of your negotiation. In this way, you’ll clearly demonstrate your worth and will be in a stronger position to secure the maximum of the salary increase on offer.”


Tips for employers:

Here is Hays’s advice for employers preparing to conduct salary reviews:


1.     Review performance: “If your organisation does not offer automatic annual increments, then consider each individual’s performance,” says Simon. “Have they met and exceeded their objectives, or undertaken any changed or rising work volumes since their last review? Also consider the team’s and the organisation’s performance to help you determine if they receive an increase and, if so, the extent of that increase.  This is why most salary reviews take place after a performance appraisal.”


2.     Consider market trends: “Compare your salaries with those offered at other companies and the general market. Consult a recent Salary Guide so you are aware of current salary trends,” he said.


3.     Be consistent: “Review a star performer in the same way as your average staffer. The increase may be higher for a star performer but the review process should be identical for the sake of transparency and fairness.”


4.     Consider retention: “In line with China’s strength, job numbers are healthy and skilled candidates are quickly secured,” says Simon. “Employers are again focusing on retention and a key element of any retention strategy is the salary on offer. A positive salary review now could be the critical component in retaining your key staff members in a market where their skills are in growing demand. So too is the provision of a clear career development plan, and sufficient learning and training support, which are sometimes just as important to an employee, if not more so.” 


5.     In the meeting: “Once you have considered all these factors, sit down with your employee and communicate your decision in a positive and constructive manner.  Explain the factors that you considered in order to reach your decision.  For example, that you considered the employee’s individual performance, the company’s performance and the employee’s additional duties. Be sensitive, but fair. Then, provide a brief summary of their performance before announcing their new salary and the date it will commence.”


According to Simon, “By sharing with the employee how you came to your decision, and reminding them of their performance, you justify the new salary. In this way, if the salary increase is less than the employee was expecting, you have fully explained the reasons for your decision.”


In his last piece of advice, Simon says to refer back to the employee’s current objectives set in their recent performance review. “For a performing employee, this reminds them how they can maintain their good results and they will walk out of the meeting with a renewed motivation for working towards these goals. For a non-performer, it reminds them of the plan you have in place to improve their performance, and so demonstrates how they can work towards a review in the future.”


In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.


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


- Ends -


About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.


Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.


Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 31 December 2013 we employed 7,979 staff.from 240 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms.  


Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.