Is my annual raise enough? Do I ask for more?

Chances are, you have asked yourself these questions at least once over the course of your career. Such questions tend to arise more frequently in a candidate-centric marketplace where top talent is tough to find and even harder to retain. So how do you handle these questions or go about getting the answers you need without sounding greedy?

Determine whether your annual raise is enough

The best way to determine if your annual raise is enough is to gather market data. Find out how much other professionals with comparable expertise and experience earn, on average. Then compare that number to what you will be making after your raise. You should also look at the cost of inflation for the current year and ensure your raise is, at a minimum, above that calculation. For salaried professionals, recruiters at Baker Tilly Search & Staffing do not recommend calculating hourly rates to help determine if your raise is appropriate. This method tends to complicate the issue by bringing additional variables into the equation.

How to ask for more

After researching the subject thoroughly, you’ll have the data you need to simplify the asking process. You should only bring up numbers based in fact and supported by your research. Not doing this can result in your request being perceived as greedy and is generally not advisable. Walk your employer through your thought process; explain why you feel the need to address this in the first place, how you concluded that you are underpaid, and how you arrived at the specific number that you are bringing to the table. The more specific you can be in your request, the more accepting and responsive your employer is likely to be.

Be honest with yourself and your employer

It is important to remember that, even though a competitive job market must reward top talent, it does not give you a reason to try to take advantage of your employer. It is best not to risk burning bridges or jeopardizing your job. Always approach these compensation-related questions with a great deal of caution, research, and honesty.

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly Search & Staffing recruiting specialists can help, contact our team.