How Do I Reply When HR Says That the Expected Salary Is Too High?

People work to get compensation for their value. It’s not uncommon to ask for a pay rise. But what do you do when HR says that the expected salary is too high?

If HR says the expected salary is too high, highlight the value you add to the company. If possible, you should prove this with valid sales or earnings you have brought to the company.

From the onset, you need to know that it’s okay to ask for a high salary. It’s only until you ask that you’re able to have it increased.

Show Your Worth

Every employee should be able to present their worth. If you truly believe that you should have your salary increased, you should prove that you’re worth to your company, right?

If HR says that your expected salary is too high, your reply should be with the intention of showing your true worth. Let them know that you deserve the salary you’ve requested for.

For example, you can emphasize your worth by reminding HR how long you have been in the company. Normally, the longer a person stays in a company, the higher the salary one should have, depending on the job description.

So, when you are told that the salary is too high, it will be best to present yourself as a valuable person.

You can say something like:

“Sir, I have been in this company for 7 years now and I have been very loyal to our vision. I believe I deserve that salary.”

Instead of agreeing with the thoughts of HR, you can present yourself as a loyal member of the company. This will force the HR manager to listen to what you have to say.

In fact, this will trigger a further conversation that may result in you getting the salary you’re asking for.

Another area of value you can add to the conversation is how you have been committed to the achievement of the company’s goals and objectives. In most cases, bosses want to see how employees can articulate their case in order to get the outcomes they want.

So, let your reply be centered on how you have been and are willing to work towards the achievement of company aspirations. This should push the conversation a notch higher.

Say something like this:

“With all due respect sir, I have been and will continue to be committed to the achievement of our company’s plans. I need a pay rise as a motivation to make it happen. Please consider accepting my salary request.”

Show Evidence of What You’ve Done

Another important way of replying to your HR manager in this matter is by showing evidence of what you’ve done for the company. The management might be quick to tell you that they can’t pay you that amount because it’s too high.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept what they say. Since you’re open to giving your opinion on the matter, it will be a great idea to tell them that you don’t want that kind of salary out of nothing.

You’ll tell the HR manager that you’ve carefully considered what you do and have done for the company to deserve that amount.

This has to do with your performance record. Don’t be afraid or nervous about showing evidence of what you’ve done at your workplace. This might be the route to the office approving your salary request.

Indeed, no salary is too high as long as you’ve earned it. Go ahead and make a claim regarding the achievements attributed to you.

For example, you can say:

“Since I started working here, I have ensured that the income average has doubled. Also, there has been an increase in the number of customers coming to our branches.”

This is enough evidence to convince the office that deals with salaries to agree to your salary rise.

Essentially, achievements don’t lie and that’s why you should be willing to approach the issue from that angle. As long as you’re assertive, you’ll give a strong reply on the matter.

Make Sure You Negotiate Smartly

Whenever you’re talking with your bosses about salary matters, negotiation is key. According to a 2021 article by ResearchGate, negotiating smartly is what bears fruits. [1] There are two parties involved in this conversation – you and the HR official.

So, from the onset, you need to know that this is a conversation. It is a dialogue, not a monologue. Each party will have points that seek to justify their reasoning and decisions.

For this reason, it calls for a lot of listening in order to negotiate well. As the HR department talks, show your interest and willingness to listen to what they have to say.

Your body language should show that you understand what they are saying. Once it’s your time to speak, start by acknowledging what HR has said about the salary. Don’t jump in refuting what HR has said as if you’re in a fight.

On the contrary, enter into a negotiation mode and state your case as well.

Try to be as calm as possible so that you don’t come out as emotional. The trick here is to negotiate instead of commanding or asking for a higher salary.

For instance, you can say:

“I do acknowledge what you’ve said. However, I believe further talks on the matter will be valuable.”

This opens room for further discussions on the issue, which is a good thing for you.

Be Flexible

You should be flexible as you reply on this matter. Being flexible has to do with looking at the bigger picture.

Yes, HR has said that the salary is too high. Is there any other way of negotiating apart from the salary? Does it mean that all is lost? These are the kind of questions you should ask yourself.

Being too fixated on the salary may not give you the results you’re looking for. That’s why you should be flexible as you negotiate with your boss.

How about if you gave the HR manager other options if the salary you’ve requested is too high?

For example, you can reply in this way:

“If you feel that the salary is too high, can I consider something else that I feel will be benefitial for me?”

Of course, HR will want to know more about your options. You can go ahead and say:

“I would appreciate it if you gave me two more off days and increased my bonuses by 30%.”

As you can see, this introduces another conversation they will be willing to listen to. You might not get the salary you wanted, but you’ll definitely have the opportunity to benefit in other significant ways.

Be flexible in your reply and create the right atmosphere for constructive discussions. This will work for you.

Be Truthful in Your Reply

Now, this is very important. It can be a make or break. According to Harvard Business School, being truthful is a virtue that helps people get far in what they engage in. [2]

You’ll be seen as a reliable and trustworthy person if you’ll demonstrate a high level of truthfulness in what you say.

As you reply to the HR department about the salary matter, make sure you speak the truth. It is important to do so because if you give false claims it can work against you.

Don’t say you’ve achieved things you haven’t. Only say what you strongly believe to be true.

Every employee wants a good salary and this might force people to fall into the trap of speaking lies. Don’t be a victim of such. Instead, be as honest as possible. This is what you need to win the trust and respect of your bosses.

Even if you don’t get the salary you want, you may have it sooner than you thought. If the human resources manager sees that you’re genuinely justifying your salary range, this may be the catalyst that gets it approved.

Be Polite and Confident

Lastly, remember to use the right words and show confidence in your reply. This is the one area you can’t go wrong at all. There is absolutely no excuse for not being polite as you converse and negotiate about the salary issue.

You are talking to a professional and you are one yourself. Therefore, the language you use should be a reflection of who you are. If you are polite, the chances of having your request approved are higher compared to vice versa.

Be calm and use words that show politeness like kindly’ and please’.

In a statement, you can say something like:

“Please sir, allow me to share why I think you should increase my salary”

“Kindly let me know what you think about my alternatives.”

You have to be polite to see a positive outcome from your meeting.

Of great importance still, you have to be confident. Confidence is key if you’ll have to convince the human resource manager about your salary. It shows that this is something you want massively.

Be calm, polite, and confident and you’ll have a fruitful conversation.


References:

[1]: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348693745

[2]: https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/open-your-organization-to-honest-conversations

Katie

Katie Haynes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.

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