Tips to secure a pay rise ahead of a performance review

Posted On 19 Jun 2024

Tips to secure a pay rise ahead of a performance review

19 Jun 2024

Candidate Resource, The Assistants Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of The Assistants Newsletter!

Welcome to the June edition of The Assistants Newsletter!

This month we discuss a hot topic – how to secure a pay rise. On the surface it might seem easy, but it can be one of the most stressful workplace things we do. Don’t worry, we have the advice and tips to help! This month our recommendations come straight from the horse’s mouth! Our Managing Director, Roxanne Calder wrote a feature article for SHE DEFINED on this very topic! We hope it helps you to prepare for the next time you sit down to have the conversation!

Good luck!

Much love,



P.S. if there is advice or tips you would love us to write about – please just let us know!

Welcome to the June edition of The Assistants Newsletter!

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Tips to secure a pay rise ahead of a performance review
Annual performance reviews are about to occur in many organisations. If a pay rise is top of mind, it is inevitably a delicate discussion. Add in the current economic environment and the conversation just increased in intensity!

On the one hand, we have record-high inflation rates. That, in conjunction with the global skills crisis surely makes the request for a salary increase a fait accompli. Hold that thought. On the other hand, businesses too are struggling with rising costs. Additionally, with the US and Europe experiencing weakened activity, growth has been slow.

It doesn’t mean a pay rise discussion is off the table, but you need to be prepared. As an experienced recruiter, here are my tips:


Know your environment

Already we have seen major scale redundancies. If you are in a susceptible industry, consider the timing of the conversation. You don’t want to appear insensitive or meerkat attention to yourself.


Nerves and anxiety are always the uninvited companions of pay rise discussions. It’s normal. You might be feeling financial pressure and a level of disgruntlement. Be careful that your mind is not preparing you for a ‘battle’. Instead, channel calmness and positivity.

Prepare yourself for all outcomes. If the answer is ‘no’, ask what needs to be done and by when. Document the goals, diarise the next meeting and use it as motivation. If the answer is met halfway with your request, treat this as a win, especially in our current times.

Value created 

Positioning your argument solely about your personal circumstances is not a tactic to take. It is more powerful to draw attention to the value you are creating. Review your job description to see where expectations and goals have been exceeded.

If you have taken on additional responsibilities, monetise them. Or if you have saved on costs, show what these are. Include any new skills learnt and knowledge acquired. Also, provide any positive stakeholder or customer feedback.

The big picture

If you have received a pay increase in the last 12 months, consider the timing and the amount you are asking now for. For some industries, there may be a gap in the growth of wages compared with inflation. However, we have also had the luxury of the other side. For the greater part of 2014 to 2021, Australia experienced higher wages compared to the rate of inflation.

Use all this information to determine the level of increase to ask for.


How many times in our career do we negotiate a pay rise? Hardly ever. So, why do we wing it? Practising is non-negotiable. Yet most of us neglect to do so. If presenting to the board, you practise and know your facts. This is equally important, not just for a positive outcome, but for your reputation and credibility.

Talking about money is uncomfortable, however, the more accustomed to it you become, the easier it will be. Take your notes with you. It will help with the nerves and allow you to remain composed and professional.

These are not ordinary times. There is no set rule or best-practice guide to asking for a pay rise, let alone in today’s world. Just as we expect our employers to be authentic, caring, and fair, so should we. After all, as employees, we make up the collective culture and ultimately determine our workplace environment.

Have the pay rise conversation. However, be well prepared, rehearsed and know your facts. Money is important. But there is much more that contributes to our happiness and well-being. Ultimately, we aspire to have a job we love, providing a sense of meaning and purpose. Negotiate on all factors, not just for now but for your future as well.

Tips to secure a pay rise ahead of a performance review

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About the author
Roxanne Calder
Managing Director

As Founder and Managing Director at EST10, Roxanne has an all-encompassing role that includes building and growing the business, as well as actively recruiting and consulting.

After completing a Bachelor’s Degree at Monash University, Roxanne began her recruitment career with renowned recruiter Julia Ross. From there, Roxanne worked in HR and recruitment with a number of global players and boutique businesses throughout Australia, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong for over 20 years. She has been responsible for managing large teams and projects, implementing RPO models, managing and assisting businesses to an IPO and assisting companies in setting up their recruitment teams and processes.

Following completion of her MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Roxanne launched EST10 in July 2010. In doing so, she hoped to combine the flexibility and high touch service levels of boutique agencies with the structure and strategy afforded to larger firms. Roxanne believes in high-touch, high-care consulting and is always on the lookout for consultants that share this vision of recruitment.