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I am currently a senior .NET developer in the company, working on the most valuable product of the company, and one of the few with web development skills. I have over 5 years of experience and my skill is well appreciated within my company. I have been at the company for almost two years.

My company needs more senior web developers, and I am one of the ones interviewing them. I am also cc'ed into emails from recruiters which mention the expected salary of the candidates, to date, none of the candidates has proven much technical skill in the interviews. However my concern is that the salaries wanted by these candidates is anywhere from 8-23k above my salary, for the same role.

I have done my own research and find that the rates being asked are the market rates. So I am wanting to ask my manager for a £8k raise to match what the new developers are being offered. Is this reasonable?

I do not have any offers from anywhere else as I am not really actively looking at the moment, I fear if I actively look then my managers will be informed by one of the long standing company recruiters, also there is a fear that I will be marked in some negative way. Some have suggested its not worth having the conversation unless you already have an offer on the table.

So should I ask for the rise? any advice welcome.

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I was put in a similar situation in the past. I was promised a raise to match that never came. My way out was getting a new job offer for what I was worth and allowing my current employer a chance to match (although I was sure they wouldn't). Ask for a raise, but have your resume up to date. – Ethan The Brave Mar 24 at 17:47
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@JoeStrazzere - I don't think that is a weak argument and quite frankly, that sounds like something management would say. Otherwise, you can offer to reapply for the job at the higher rate if you truly feel none of the other candidates are as good. – JeffO Mar 24 at 17:57
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We recently just had a senior engineer go to a different company for 40K salary increase, because of the exact same problem. Your case will look much better with another offer in hand. – jcmack Mar 24 at 21:13
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@JeffO The argument isn't even "they are paying somebody else more". It's only "the applicants are asking for more". If the candidates don't have "much technical skill", most likely they don't have much idea of how little they are really worth either. Possibly they picked a number out of the air from the same "market rates" information on the web that the OP used for comparison. – alephzero Mar 24 at 21:36
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Your question title='new candidates being offered much higher salaries for same job, what to do?' seems mistitled. You say only that 'the salaries wanted by these candidates is anywhere from 8-23k above my salary,' but you don't say that the candidates are being offered what they want. Consider editing your title appropriately. – TomRoche Mar 24 at 22:44

It is more than reasonable to ask for a 'market' raise. You can indicate you have done research and feel your skills rate at the higher salary and you like to be considered for an increase.

It is also not unreasonable for your employer to say no. It was bad form for the HR manager to be forwarding salary requirements to someone that should not have been privy to that information.

I have found through experience that the only way to make market shifts is to apply for other jobs at other companies and ask for the salary you are looking for.

Lastly, give your employer some wiggle room. If you are asking for the bottom end minimum increase you are not going to be happy when you have to mentor or train that new senior developer making 23k more. Shoot for closer to the mid-high range of your market rate. This may be very high but allows your employer to counter somewhere down the spectrum a little and not disappoint you. On the upside they could give you what you are asking for. On the downside, they could say no and you could start sending out CVs with that salary as your expectation.

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I should add, I have never received nor known of anyone getting a 'market' increase. You should try, but your best recourse to get what you feel you are worth is going to be changing jobs. It is fairly common at least in the US for people to move around regularly – Bill Leeper Mar 24 at 16:57
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It's very unfortunate really. If you are working at A and I am working at B, doing very similar jobs, our only chances for a decent raise could be swapping companies, so we get a decent salary, and the companies lose all the experience gathered in the job. – gnasher729 Mar 24 at 17:03
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I feel like the only constant in development is change anyway. A programmer ought to look to switching gigs every couple years just to make sure they aren't stagnating. One of the things I really like about MS, in fact (speaking as an outsider) is the way they may be large but are very compartmentalized so that a transfer inside the company is practically a new job. – NotVonKaiser Mar 24 at 18:20
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This is dead on... the OP has to ask for a raise for his/her own sanity. But it is important to note that realistically a sizable market raise will probably not happen as most managers hands are tied by HR policy and their department budget. Sadly, it's much easier to get a significant pay increase by job hopping then to stay in an organization. Still... once you discover you are under-paid it is impossible to "un-discover" that info. – DanK Mar 24 at 19:19
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@gnasher729 I agree. At my last company I was in the same boat where entry grade employees were getting paid more than me (senior grade). I did ask about it to my boss and managed to get a pay increase however the gap between what entry and senior makes so it was one of many reasons for me to leave. So it never hurts to ask but don't expect much without changing jobs. – Dan Mar 25 at 14:34

Keep in mind that although market rates may be higher than what you're being paid, the company may not be prepared to offer that amount - to you, or the new hires.

These people may be asking for those amounts, yet may have no chance of getting that much within your company.

You should wait and see what the new dev is hired at before you start a conversation with management about being underpaid. Whenever discussing this with them be sure to reference the market rate in the area, and also be ready to back your claims up with information from reputable sources.

In the end you may find that you will need to jump ship in order to get that well deserved raise (many of us do).

Good luck!

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Another reason to look outside the company though. Often these requirements are not that far out of line from what the candidate is currently making. I have sat flat for a little while because I got lucky and moved up the income ladder rather quickly, I was asking for my exact same salary (money wasn't why I was looking for change) so their requests may not be out of line for the industry. As noted the OP is in software and demand is very high right now in the right markets. – Bill Leeper Mar 25 at 15:40

What you are expecting is reasonable but you sound like someone who in general, is happy with the status-quo. And believe me your supervisors notice that. Knowing that your likelihood of jumping ship is low, they will not be very welcoming to your raise demand.

My suggestion is, to look out for other employment possibilities, with the same skills you are using at your present company. .NET is a skill in high demand I know and there should not be any problem if you are a well qualified person. Once you get an offer from a different company, you can really go to your manager and say, pay me this (amount what other company is offering you) or I am gone. If they think you are bluffing and let you go, at least you have another job to fall back on. But once things get serious and all the chips go down, management go above and beyond to keep you if you are valuable to them. If you are one of the many in the organization, not so much.

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I've been there myself. Most of us have, I think. Maybe my initial appraisal was a little harsh. Generally speaking I know that what you're saying is true, however we can't be certain that this is the OP's situation, so, personally, I like to stick to the question's facts. – AndreiROM Mar 24 at 21:48

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