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Long story short, we got two new hires one of them has my same experience and qualifications, the other one has less experience and qualification. Both were appointed with way high salaries. I hate to compare myself to others but at the same time I take pride of what I do. The difference between me and the highest new hire is 70k a year and for the second one (less experience) is 45k a year. I totally understand the free market and the concept of supply and demand but I also know that the salary commensurate with experience!. What is my best approach here to ask for an increase and what is a reasonable number ? I never compared myself to others and I really hesitated a lot before asking this question but at the same time I find it unfair for me to stand down and just take what is given to me.

closed as off-topic by Dheer, Michael, Aganju, JoeTaxpayer Aug 23 '17 at 3:27

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  • What will you do if they give you no significant raise? Can you be content knowing that one of these new hires makes significantly more than you for no apparent reason? – Hart CO Aug 22 '17 at 1:34
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    What I usually did at this situation is I showed to the management an offer from another company (I'm in IT field) with of course the better pay rate. If management wise enough and they don't want to lose a valuable worker, they try to beat an offer and match the salary. Might not exactly work for your situation. – Tired Of Trading Aug 22 '17 at 1:41
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    A note for future reference. When you list numerical difference in a context like this, I find it more helpful to give percentages rather than hard numbers. In this case, 120,000 USD vs 50,000 USD is a very different story than 4.93M JPY vs. 5M JPY. – Wesley Marshall Aug 22 '17 at 2:27
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    More apt on workplace stackexchange – Dheer Aug 22 '17 at 15:03
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic as it is not in scope of personal finance. – Dheer Aug 22 '17 at 15:04
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What is my best approach here to ask for an increase and what is a reasonable number?

Your best approach would be to gather a list of everything you contribute of value that is greater than what your actual responsibilities are. When I worked in HR, that was the first thing I looked at when I was asked to reevaluate someone's compensation package. I looked at what their job duties are and what the market rate is for someone in that position and what more they have done since they've been hired. However, that is not to say that there are certain people who made a lot more than what the average was in the market. It is well known that if you want an salary increase more than inflation, your chances are better at another company. A reasonable number is hard to justify without knowing what you do and what value you bring.

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I hate to compare myself to others but at the same time I take pride of what I do.

You can take pride without comparing yourself to others.

The difference between me and the highest new hire is 70k a year and for the second one (less experience) is 45k a year. I totally understand the free market and the concept of supply and demand but I also know that the salary commensurate with experience!.

If you totally understood the free market, then you would know that a good salary for others doesn't mean your salary is inappropriate. You would understand that the price to attract new workers might not be the same as the price to keep existing workers.

Or, you could conclude that the market for new workers has spiked and decide to leave in order to cash in.

What is my best approach here to ask for an increase and what is a reasonable number?

The best approach to ask for an increase is to discuss the value you bring to the company now and in the future (none of that is impacted by the salary of others). Talk about why you are worth more now than you were a little while ago.

I never compared myself to others and I really hesitated a lot before asking this question but at the same time I find it unfair for me to stand down and just take what is given to me.

Seems silly to me to decide to become unhappy due to the salary of others.

If these new hires had been making significantly less than you, would you have offered to cut your salary? If you decide to leave and get hired by a new company, will you make sure you are paid less than your peers, in order to be fair?

  • "You would understand that the price to attract new workers might not be the same as the price to keep existing workers." I find that statement funny, since as an employee you unilaterally have the power to set the second price. – Robus Aug 28 '17 at 6:34
  • @Robus - well you can name any price you wish as long as you are willing to leave. – Joe Strazzere Aug 28 '17 at 11:56
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I would go with the approach of your "market value" - how much are others willing to pay you?

I can totally understand that you feel it is unfair - but in my experience using the argument that others in the same position earn more, is not very well received. However your opportunity cost is. Say you can make 50% more salary in a competing company - that is the figure you should take to your boss and ask for, with lots of arguments.

Actually going to a job interview with another company and presenting your new job offer to your current employer in order to leverage your way into a salary increase, may backfire and end you up being let go instead (then you actually need to take the new job, which might not be desired if you like where you work now).

If you genuinely feel that your salary is too low, and you wouldn't mind switching jobs - but you would prefer staying, I would go with the approach of your market value and then argument that direct experience in your company is worth more to your company than experience from somewhere else (they can fast forward maybe 6 months before a new hire is up to speed). Maybe even offer them a "discount" to your market value, since you are both gaining. In the end of the conversation you may slip in, that you need to be compensators according to fair market value, and that you might need to find that somewhere else, but you would rather stay because you like your current job (this treat should be genuine, and in the case they don't follow through, you need to do something about it - otherwise you may put yourself in an even weaker position going forward)

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