More Companies Offering Promotions Without Raises - And Many Workers Willing to Accept Them

55 per cent of workers would accept a higher title that doesn’t include more pay

  • 47 per cent of employers commonly award promotions without salary increases, up from 25 per cent in 2011
  • 55 per cent of workers would accept a higher title that doesn’t include more pay
  • Male employees and respondents ages 18 to 34 are most likely to take a promotion without a raise


Toronto, ON — A better job title doesn’t always come with a bigger paycheque, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam. Nearly half of Canadian HR managers (47 per cent) said it’s common for their company to offer employees promotions without salary increases. That’s a 22-point jump from a similar 2011 survey.


How do professionals feel about this practice? More than half (55 per cent) reported they’d be willing to accept an advanced title that doesn't include a raise.


See an infographic with survey results.


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


Very common


Somewhat common


Not common at all


We don’t offer promotions without raises





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









Additional findings:

  • More male employees (59 per cent) are open to taking a promotion without a salary increase than women (51 per cent).
  • Workers ages 18 to 34 (62 per cent) are most willing to take a new title that doesn’t include a raise, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (52 per cent) and 55 and older (45 per cent).
  • Professionals are promoted after 3 years in a role, on average.


“While providing advancement opportunities can be a valuable way for companies to motivate employees and reward success, many professionals expect a promotion to come with a raise,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district director with OfficeTeam. “If limited resources make that difficult, employers should be prepared to deliver alternate perks like more vacation time or enhanced benefits to keep staff satisfied.”  


Added Vasilopoulos, “A new title may look good on paper, but before accepting an offer, employees need to schedule time with their manager to discuss whether the role fits their long-term career goals and the total compensation structure for the position.”


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


  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 Canadian companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 1,000 Canadian workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.


About 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 Follow for career and management advice.

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