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Two thirds of workers reluctant to ask for a pay rise

07 April 2015

Over half of workers in the South East are unhappy with their salary, yet only a third asked for a pay rise in the last year, according to new research from Hays, the leading recruiting expert.

Despite increasing salaries in the past year, many employees are dissatisfied with their pay but only 33% asked for a pay rise in the past year, and of these only 15% of these were successful.  With so few successful pay rise negotiations taking place, UK workers planning to ask for a pay rise this year should do their research and brush up on their negotiation skills.

Darren Montagu, Regional Managing Director at Hays, said, “With an improving economy and salaries increasing, now is a good time to negotiate with your employer over the pay, benefits and career opportunities they have to offer.  Our research shows that many workers in the region are still reluctant to ask for a pay rise and those that do are often unsuccessful. Negotiating a pay rise can be a taboo topic but it doesn’t need to be. For both employee and employer, increased pay should be based on the actual value of work delivered. An employer will look to performance, consider the current market for your salary and may look to offer training or additional benefits instead of pay, so prepare to be flexible and consider suggestions from your employer.” 

For employees who believe they have added value to an organisation, the three golden rules of the salary-savvy are: research; timing; negotiation.

Compare your salary package to similar positions to provide the evidence base you need to confidently ask for a rise. Prepare for any questions by building a business case that fits the context of your company’s salary culture.
It is not recommended to request a meeting with an employer who is busy dealing with a vital work project. Wait for the right moment, either after you have impressed them with your work or when salary reviews are pending.

Be professional and be open to compromise. From the salary request you are putting on the table, work out a bottom line which would be acceptable. Also consider alternative perks such as an increased bonus instead of a salary increase.

To see how your salary compares to others in your profession and location visit


About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2014 the Group employed 8,237 staff operating from 237 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014:

- the Group reported net fees of £724.9 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £140.3 million;
- the Group placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments;
- 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 42% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 34% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
- the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;
- 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



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