Regardless of where you are in your career, salary negotiations are often a difficult subject to broach. It’s for this reason most people tend to avoid asking for a raise altogether. However, not asking for a raise could mean letting your income plateau.

According to a Robert Half study conducted in November 2022 that surveyed 300  hiring managers, including 100 CFOs and 100 CIOs, from companies across Australia, 20% of employers said salary increases for staff would be based on tenure. Meanwhile, 22% said salary increases would be based on a combination of company and/or individual performance and tenure.

Asking for a raise is an indication that you know your worth, and that you’re serious about your career. Here are a few tips to make your salary negotiation a little easier, including how to discuss a pay hike with your manager.

What to know before you negotiate your salary increase

Preparing for your salary negotiation betters your chances of a successfully approved salary hike. Before you sit down with your manager, here are a few points to consider –

Salary rises are an ongoing journey

Your manager knows that salary hike conversations are a periodic occurrence – they expect it. In other words, there’s no need to worry about the meeting with your manager.

Your value is definable

Our Salary Guide is a good place to start researching salaries relative to your experience and position. However, you know how much you bring to the table and how much more you can bring to the table, given the right circumstances.

Compile a list of these qualities to help make your case as well as organise your thoughts during the negotiation.


Practise what you plan on saying as well as anticipate how you might respond to any pushback from your manager while discussing your salary hike.

Related: Is it okay to discuss your salary with your colleagues?

How to actually discuss a salary hike with your manager

Once you’ve defined your worth and your boundaries, ask your manager if they have time to discuss your salary in a meeting or via a video call. Once they’ve gotten back to you with an appointment, keep the following tips in mind for the actual conversation:

Stay polite and positive

Thank your manager for taking the time to meet, and for giving you the opportunity to work in this role. Briefly tell them what you’ve most enjoyed about your time at the organisation so far.

Highlight your value

Talk through the value you add to the organisation, and where you hope to go from here. For example, you might say, “In my past year at the company, I’ve boosted sales by 25% using organic leads from social media, at no added cost.” Here, the combination of a tangible percentage figure and your skills demonstrates your value.

Ask for what you want

This can really be as simple as: “Based on current trends in this field and in this city, most people with my experience earn [$-figure] – I would therefore like a raise of at least [%-figure].”

Be flexible

“The biggest point employees can remember is that these negotiations are in everyone’s best interest,” says Robert Half Division Director Joel Herbert, “employers want to keep their talent, so they’ll likely try and meet you at least halfway.” Herbert notes that in the event that a monetary increment isn’t possible, it’s “perfectly reasonable to negotiate better benefits” if this is somewhere you’d like to work in the long term.

If you want to, you can say “no.” Walking away is never easy, but it’s important you know what you are and aren’t willing to accept. If you cannot agree on final terms as you re-negotiate your salary, it’s alright to leave.

Related: Should I leave a job for more money?

What not to do when discussing your salary hike

  • Don’t improvise. Apart from taking the time to set up a meeting with your manager to discuss your salary hike, it’s especially important that you rehearse what you’re going to say, and know the lowest salary increment (or equivalent) you’d be willing to settle for.
  • Don’t use vague or timid language. Avoid filler words like “um” and “like” to appear more confident and direct, and try to get to the point – your salary negotiation – as soon as possible.
  • Don’t be rude. Lastly, while it’s completely acceptable to walk away from an offer that doesn’t meet your requirements, it’s important to stay courteous throughout the conversation.

Looking for a new job? Robert Half can help.