Information

Promotions Without Raises


A better job title doesn't always come with a bigger paycheck, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam. Nearly two in five HR managers (39 percent) said it's common for their company to offer employees promotions without salary increases. That's a 17-point jump from a similar 2011 survey.

How do professionals feel about this practice? Nearly two-thirds of workers (64 percent) reported they'd be willing to accept an advanced title that doesn't include a raise, up from 55 percent in 2011.

View an infographic about promotions.

HR managers were asked, "How common is it for your company to award promotions without salary increases?" Their responses:

Very common

6%

Somewhat common

33%

Not common at all

40%

We don't offer promotions without raises

20%

 

  99%*


*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Workers were asked, "Would you be willing to accept a promotion from your company that didn't include a raise?" Their responses:

 

Yes

64%

No

36%

 

100%


Additional findings about promotion without a raise:

  • More male employees (72 percent) are open to accepting a promotion without a salary increase than women (55 percent).
  • Workers ages 18 to 34 (72 percent) are most willing to take a new title that doesn't include a raise, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (61 percent) and 55 and older (53 percent).
  • Professionals are promoted after two years and five months in a role, on average.
"One way employers can motivate and retain their workers is by providing advancement opportunities to those who have excelled in their positions," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "Awarding promotions without raises isn't ideal, but budgets are often a limiting factor. The employee's existing salary may also be a consideration, particularly if they're already making an above-market rate."

Britton added, "Professionals should look at the full picture when offered a title change that doesn't include a bump in pay. That means assessing whether they're ready for the challenge, excited about the work and able to negotiate other perks to sweeten the deal."
 

OfficeTeam offers five tips for workers when considering accepting a promotion without a raise: Promotions Without Raises

  1. Get the details. Discuss the new role's responsibilities and expectations with your boss before making a decision.
  2. Weigh the pros and cons. Think about whether the position aligns with your personal and professional aspirations. 
  3. Request a follow-up. Ask for a compensation review in three to six months.
  4. Check on other incentives. Aside from pay, you may be able to negotiate a flexible schedule, extra vacation time, a bigger bonus, professional development opportunities or stock options.  
  5. Decline gracefully. If you decide to turn down a promotion, diplomatically explain how staying in your current role is better for you and the company.
About the Research

The surveys were developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees and more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.com/officeteam. Follow roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog for career and management advice.

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