The subject of pay rise is once again brought up, after news earlier this week of a new salary comparison portal that is now available for marketers to check on how their wages compare with their peers. While marketers may believe that there are now concrete grounds to asking for a pay rise, recruiting company Hays Sales & Marketing expects believes that expectations should be kept low.

“In today’s market many employees have higher expectations than their employers when it comes to their next pay rise,” says Peter Noblet, regional director of Hays.

According to a survey done by the company of 1142 Australians, 35% expect their salary to increase by above 6%, 33% expect an increase between 3-6% and 32% expect it to go up by less than 3%.

On the flip side, according to the 2011 Hays Salary Guide, only 6% of employers intend to offer pay rises above six percent. 44% of employers will offer increases between 3-6%, and 43% intend to only consider less than 3%.

“Employers won’t be swayed by [employees’] expectations,” says Noblet. “Instead of offering widespread salary increases, many employers are choosing to review employee benefits to help them attract and retain staff. They’re also quick to discuss potential career paths with their high achievers and offer training and development. Work/life balance improvements are also being used as alternatives to large salary increases.”

Noblet provides six tips for employees who intend on pushing on a pay review:

1. Prepare a list of your recent achievements that exceed your objectives (if this is your first review, look back at your original job description). List the resulting benefit to the company. This gives you strong evidence to support the value you are providing to the business.

2. Also list any changed or increased work volumes or duties you’re now undertaking.

3. Be realistic. State the salary you feel your performance and results are worth, and back it up with evidence from a salary guide to show it is in line with current market rates.

4. Keep your salary review discussion professional. Stay calm and focused. Do not become emotional and do not talk of how much money you need – eg rising bills or mortgage repayments. Keep your review purely professional.

5. Have a fall-back position. If your employer cannot afford to increase your salary, can you agree a date for another pay review in three or six months?  What about additional annual leave, study or other benefits?

6. Above all, use your accomplishments and the value you add to the organisation as the basis of your negotiation. In this way, you’ll clearly demonstrate your worth and will be in a stronger position to secure the maximum of the salary increase on offer.