7 tips to help you negotiate your next salary raise

Posted by Frank Vande Voorde

What are they?


We do not know how many people negotiate a salary raise with their employer during the year, but we understand that it is a low percentage of employees. 

This is understandable, as it takes a great deal of courage, preparation and a certain amount of knowledge to ask for a salary increase. When an employer offers a salary raise, even fewer people argue that it is not enough. 

In our opinion, a good employer, in order to be fair, should discuss your salary at least once a year. Even if there is no budget for a raise, the subject should at least be discussed. So, what are these tips to help you better negotiate?

1) Know how much you should be earning. This is probably the most difficult and interesting part of the preparation and discussion

You should investigate your value by checking how much is paid for a similar function in your area and industry sector. You can find indications of this online, by asking around, calling recruitment or temp agencies, etc. An exact figure will be difficult to determine but a good range will suffice.

When you start comparing, it is important that you include the benefits related to the role (company car, meal vouchers, insurances, etc.). In Belgium, there are many benefits a company can offer in order to make a function more attractive.

2) List the reasons why you believe you deserve a salary increase

Merely staying in the role for another year is not a good enough reason to expect a raise.

You must prove that you are worth it because of what you will mean to the company in the year to come; the money you will save, people you will help, actions you will take, etc.

3) Be self-assured and confident when you ask for a raise

Your meeting should be a positive discussion in which both parties respect each other and aspire to a continued harmonious working relationship. Do not ask for an increase just when you have been told that the company is not satisfied with your contribution during the past year.

4) Be specific in your request and set priorities

Even if you only have a range of what your function is worth on the market, it is better to be specific in what you ask. Indicate what you would prefer: money, insurances, days off, flexibility, etc.

The figure  – or package – you ask for should be sufficiently high to leave some room for negotiation. 

5) Be prepared to get a “no” … and accept it. It is possible that you will not receive what you had hoped for… or even anything at all!

There may be valid reasons or explanations why your request is refused. A refusal should not be considered a failure or a reason to believe that the company does not appreciate your work. What you can do is set expectations for the future and possibly combine these expectations with results, targets or achievements. 

6) Listen to the other person

Ask what the other person expects from you, what the company needs. What are the preferences and priorities? By understanding the other party, you are more likely to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion to your discussion. 

7) Focus on the future, not the past

A salary raise is not a bonus. The latter is to thank you for your past efforts and results.

A salary raise is an investment for the future. Bearing this in mind, put forward and defend what you will mean to the company and to your boss in the future. 

These tips will be more effective if you do a good job and if others are happy with your attitude. In parallel, positive preparation and a confident presentation of the facts are crucial.

Wishing you good luck for your next negotiation!

Your Rainbow Team!

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Frank Vande Voorde

About Frank Vande Voorde

I launched Rainbow Resources Group with the acquisition of Rainbow Careers (now "Rainbow Admin Careers"), a company with more than 30 years experience on the Belgian market. I subsequently created additional specialised divisions such as "Rainbow HR Careers", "Rainbow Flex Careers" and “Rainbow Coaching”.

I started my career in Auditing and later acquired Advisory and Marketing experience in one of the Big Four. Moving into the recruitment sector, I have accumulated more than 25 years experience as a Consultant, Manager and Managing Director in a number of small and large, national and international, specialised recruitment firms.

After graduating from Solvay Business School, I trained at INSEAD. I am also a certified Business & Executive Coach and certified Mediator.

Passionate about business, specialised in permanent and temporary recruitment in particular, I foster and live by values such as trust and fairness.

I believe in the strength of a smile and that a picture speaks a thousand words.

Contact Frank Vande Voorde

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