CIO salary negotiation tips | Advice on negotiating a pay rise for CIOs

A recent Harvey Nash survey revealed that 62% of UK CIOs have received the same base salary in the last year - while 33% saw a pay increase.

Following the EU referendum result and market uncertainty, negotiating a better salary for a CIO may be harder to achieve.

Nevertheless, last year more than a third CIOs in the UK received increased compensation in the last year, according to the 2016 Harvey Nash CIO Survey.

Here is our guide in negotiating a better salary in getting the salary you deserve.


It can be uncomfortable pitching for a better salary, but it is worthwhile researching how much a CIO should be earning.

Factors such as a location, experience and industry sector play an integral part of how much you are worth.

Sites such as and are great for understanding the background to your role and the market rate.

A realistic view of a salary can be backed up with facts allowing the CIO to be confident for when persuading for a raise.

Looking at fellow competitors and taking into account their organisation size can contribute to how much the employers can afford to pay their CIO.

Not relying on one piece of data or source will set your own salary expectations in getting the same reasonable amount as fellow CIOs.

A CIO should not find the process of pitching for a higher salary stressful. A great way to advance your salary is to keep track of your weekly achievements and accomplishments since starting the role.

A journal of the projects you have been involved in and how you have met the responsibilities in the job description can help the negotiation.

Listing the successes you have brought to the company, through products and services, can demonstrate your leadership in the role and your value to the business.

The right timing

As technology sectors and IT departments are facing budget cuts and setbacks, negotiating a salary can often be overlooked by employers.

The right timing is key for CIOs and can help push them towards a higher salary and their next career move.

CIOs should ask for a pay rise during appraisements and personal recognition by employers.

In some organisations, a set pay review takes place where employees’ salaries are raised and discussed.

A CIO should be objective while being assessed as it can be a great chance to receive feedback on their role and how they can improve their overall performance.

While consistent performance can help CIOs towards a higher salary, timing and recognition play a vital part for a successful negotiation.

Be flexible

Negotiating a salary can be a difficult process. When pitching a salary always consider both sides of the negotiations.

In some organisations, budgets are strict and often salaries cannot be raised as much as you like.

Instead, negotiating other rewards such as flexibility in working hours, better health insurance or annual leave can be worthwhile.


Presenting the achievements through brief bullet points will showcase how you have reached the set goals of a CIO and how you plan on moving forward within the company.

Documenting the progress will give evidence in why you deserve the higher salary identifying your value to the company.

Employers will be hard to bargain with, in wanting to offer the employee less than the expected salary. In the pitch, a CIO needs to leave room for negotiation with research from the wage findings having leeway in the salary range.

A CIO needs to be confident and project it is not a money-motivated pitch. A detailed list of what your motivations are can be responsibility, growth and development led helping improve the CIO's level of engagement in the role.

Be patient

According to the 2017 Harvey Nash survey, 62% of CIOs salaries were unchanged last year.

As a CIO’s responsibilities are increasing within the organisation and becoming more diverse from managing IT, teams and resources. It is now their responsibility to influence change and drive direction in the business.

When negotiating a salary increase CIOs should be patient to allow the company to decide on the offer.

The negotiation can be a back and forth process but waiting for a response will demonstrate the CIO’s value of the organisation.

A no doesn't mean 'never'

In some organisations, CIOs are not always successful at negotiating a pay rise.

The negotiation process should be taken as an opportunity for CIOs to push themselves in their role and to be valued within their organisation.

CIOs should communicate their future potential as an employee and why a salary increase can push them towards a greater performance and business growth.

Often, employees can lose focus and motivation after a setback, but through setting realistic salary goals, gathering supporting data and not underselling themselves, CIOs can negotiate a good salary increase.

Bonus and values

Negotiating for a higher wage can be tricky in getting the balance right.

A CIO should use positive language rather than making a list of demands of what they want from the employers with a focus on "we" rather than "me".

By demonstrating how it will benefit the enterprise as a whole rather than the individual CIO's needs.

While if you don’t ask you don't get, a higher compensation package might not be the main priority for a CIO during negotiation.

In case there is significant pushback in negotiating a higher salary, then having a backup plan with alternative benefits may be the next step for a CIO.

Looking at the whole package with bonuses such as working from home, extra holiday or a day off can be just as important. These alternative benefits will motivate the CIO in their role valuing their position with the business.

Demanding more money may leave your employee wondering what your true motivations are as to whether or not you care about the future of the company as a CIO, but by playing your cards right you can have more success in your negotiations.

Know your value

The 2017 Harvey Nash survey revealed that 79% of IT budgets are increasing due to the investments made in digital.

A salary increase should see CIOs earning according to their responsibilities, skills and expertise within their organisation.

CIOs should demonstrate their potential through communicating their achievements, strengths and skills sets to ensure they remain credible in their role.

By explaining your value as a digital leader it can lead to a greater job satisfaction, work productivity and salary increase.

Know what you are asking for

Asking for a salary increase should be for the right reasons.

CIOs should take the time to think about why they deserve a pay rise with this reflecting on the increased amount.

A review is a great chance for CIOs to explain why they are deserved of a pay rise whether its consistent performance, company loyalty or skill set.

While employers may not offer the initial salary you discussed CIOs should not feel compelled to agree to their negotiation straight away.

CIOs should take their time whilst thinking about the offer being made with a follow-up response being made within the next couple of days to employers. This can demonstrate a CIO’s leadership skills by staying in control of the situation.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 secrets of successful remote IT teams