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Old 18.06.2021, 13:41
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Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

Hi all! I work in marketing for a major corporation in a big Swiss city. I have been discussing with HR and my line manager the details of an upcoming promotion that will mean that I go from being a project manager with 0 direct reports, to a Director leading a team of 10 people and managing a budget of 1 mil CHF.

HR asked me to share my salary expectations for the role before they give me an official offer. Therefore I did pretty extensive research online and with recruiters to get a sense of how much that type of role is worth in the market. Based on my research, a fair compensation for the role would be around 150-160k CHF. That would be a 25% - 30% salary increase from my current compensation.

Based on your experience with Swiss companies, do you think that is a realistic salary increase for an internal promotion? Is there a standard % for this type of internal step-ups?

Thank you all for your valuable inputs!
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Old 18.06.2021, 13:47
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

Is this question part of the process on deciding whether you get the role, or just them checking your expectations?

If yes then you have to be a little cautious about pricing yourself out, if not then go for what you think they would have to pay to bring someone in.

In my experience, 25% would be a very big pay rise for an internal move, 10-15% is more realistic and even that is far from certain.
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Old 18.06.2021, 13:51
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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Hi all! I work in marketing for a major corporation in a big Swiss city. I have been discussing with HR and my line manager the details of an upcoming promotion that will mean that I go from being a project manager with 0 direct reports, to a Director leading a team of 10 people and managing a budget of 1 mil CHF.

HR asked me to share my salary expectations for the role before they give me an official offer. Therefore I did pretty extensive research online and with recruiters to get a sense of how much that type of role is worth in the market. Based on my research, a fair compensation for the role would be around 150-160k CHF. That would be a 25% - 30% salary increase from my current compensation.

Based on your experience with Swiss companies, do you think that is a realistic salary increase for an internal promotion? Is there a standard % for this type of internal step-ups?

Thank you all for your valuable inputs!
25-30% very unlikely at this level for an internal promotion although not unheard of. Depends what your company is like. Even if the new salary doesn't meet your expectations it's worth taking as the promotion will look good on your CV and you could maybe use it to make a horizontal move to a new company one day which offers better remuneration.
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:14
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

if you can't get the full increase at the start, you could try for half and then the other half, say 18 months into the job (or by then maybe you can jump to another employer).
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:19
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

If you are going from managing no one to managing 10 people, that is a big jump. Ask for the 25-30%. Worst thing they'll do is say no. They aren't going to immediately decide to look externally just because you put out a high number... Externally, for that kind of role, they're looking at the same numbers you found, but with the additional costs of recruiting and the additional unknown of a new person.

That said, have you asked them what their budget is?

ETA: Don't mention the percentage. They can do the math. Just tell them, that based on your understanding of the role and its responsibilities, along with your research, leads you to conclude that the appropriate compensation is in the range of 160k. Go high. You can come down, but you can't go up.

Last edited by ThisIsFine; 18.06.2021 at 15:27. Reason: a thought and spelling
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:22
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

I'm guessing you're on about 120k and they will look at 140k. 160k will be possibly hard to achieve.

Do not forget to look at what bonus could be plus other benefits with the new rank and signatory power.

One million isn't much Spend wisely!
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:46
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

I had a similar promotion once in Switzerland, my budget responsibility was an order of magnitude greater than yours but I got no salary increase. To be fair my salary was already higher than the one you hope for.

The funny part was after a couple of years there was a new uber boss who demoted me back to PM. He tried very hard to cut my salary but as I had had no increase he failed
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:50
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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I had a similar promotion once in Switzerland, my budget responsibility was an order of magnitude greater than yours but I got no salary increase. To be fair my salary was already higher than the one you hope for.

The funny part was after a couple of years there was a new uber boss who demoted me back to PM. He tried very hard to cut my salary but as I had had no increase he failed
maybe you could have asked how much more the management role was worth and asked for the back pay!
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:53
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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maybe you could have asked how much more the management role was worth and asked for the back pay!
LOL!

True, but I had more than enough to live comfortably and the director role was much easier than the PM role so I did not want to rock the boat.
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Old 18.06.2021, 14:53
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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I had a similar promotion once in Switzerland, my budget responsibility was an order of magnitude greater than yours but I got no salary increase. To be fair my salary was already higher than the one you hope for.

The funny part was after a couple of years there was a new uber boss who demoted me back to PM. He tried very hard to cut my salary but as I had had no increase he failed
you remind me of a friend of mine who was a complete asshole at work and after a reorganisation his new boss tried several times to fire him without success. in the end, he went up to my friend and told him he was 'bulletproof' and was content to exile him to permanent work from home (which he was more than happy with since i'm guessing he wasn't spending much of the day working). (he had a niche skill which was very hard to find a replacement for in an area which if went wrong could destroy several years revenue of the company).
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Old 18.06.2021, 15:12
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

I have no experience with Swiss companies only US companies. Manager to Director I would say 20% increase is reasonable. Typically with US based companies the more interesting increase would come in Stock Options (or actually RSUs)...

You don't mention your dept I think this will have an impact

FWIW: $1M annual budget is peanuts. I assume this is not your dept cost including salaries and fringe your 10 reports
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Old 18.06.2021, 15:14
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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If you are going from managing no one to managing 10 people, that is a big jump. Ask for the 25-30%. Worst thing they'll do is say no. They aren't going to immediately decide to look externally just because you put out a high number... Externally, for that kind of role, they're looking at the same numbery you found, but with the additional costs of recruiting and the additional unknown of a new person.

That said, have you asked them what their budget is?

ETA: Don't mention the percentage. They can do the math. Just tell them, that based on your understanding of the role and its responsibilities, along with your research, leads you to conclude that the appropriate compensation is in the range of 160k. Go high. You can come down, but you can't go up.
This 100%, managing 10 people is a jump and should be paid for
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Old 18.06.2021, 15:23
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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FWIW: $1M annual budget is peanuts. I assume this is not your dept cost including salaries and fringe your 10 reports
Guaranteed not.
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Old 18.06.2021, 15:27
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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If you are going from managing no one to managing 10 people, that is a big jump. Ask for the 25-30%. Worst thing they'll do is say no. They aren't going to immediately decide to look externally just because you put out a high number.
This, this and only this. The OP is making a significant jump in position and responsibility and a 25-30% (and sometimes more) salary increase is common for a big jump in grading like that. They are really trusting you for this position so in the likely worst case they will negotiate down until both sides are happy.

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I had a similar promotion once in Switzerland, my budget responsibility was an order of magnitude greater than yours but I got no salary increase. To be fair my salary was already higher than the one you hope for.

The funny part was after a couple of years there was a new uber boss who demoted me back to PM. He tried very hard to cut my salary but as I had had no increase he failed
Ugh, then you really allowed yourself to be used and abused.
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Old 18.06.2021, 16:38
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

The company already has a range they are prepared to offer you. If they are asking you to shoot first it is because they must have a feeling that you will ask for less than their mid-point number. I will bet that your company HR knows the same data you know, that the role should pay CHF 150-160k. They probably want to offer you CHF 140-150k. The market mid-point is 155k, so you should ask for CHF 165-170k and let them come back with a number around CHF 160k.

The cost of finding an external candidate is probably around 20-30k plus the time wasted, so don't forget that HR has to factor in this cost into their calculation.
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Old 18.06.2021, 16:43
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

A major corporation uses market driven salary ranges.

OP could ask what the salary range for the role is, and invite them to propose a salary at the midpoint of the range, or median salary of other staff in the same range.

(Assuming it’s higher than what they earn today)
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Old 18.06.2021, 16:51
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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A major corporation uses market driven salary ranges.

OP could ask what the salary range for the role is, and invite them to propose a salary at the midpoint of the range, or median salary of other staff in the same range.

(Assuming it’s higher than what they earn today)
Exactly, sometimes it is better to stay with what you have.
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Old 18.06.2021, 17:04
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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HR asked me to share my salary expectations for the role before they give me an official offer. Therefore I did pretty extensive research online and with recruiters to get a sense of how much that type of role is worth in the market. Based on my research, a fair compensation for the role would be around 150-160k CHF. That would be a 25% - 30% salary increase from my current compensation.

Unfortunately many companies, especially Swiss company don't think in terms of what you are worth on the market, but rather how much more would you win with the salary increase.

Such an increase might be unrealistic, I wouldn't expect more than 10k. It depends on the reason you got the promotion. Is there a special reason, do they need you for some particular projects or do you have some special skills? I've seen a lot of people being promoted to the next grade just to take away from them the possibility to get compensation for the extra time. They get some additional money and some additional holidays.

Surely hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I guess your best short time option is to get the maximum from what they offer and if you are not happy prepare to jump ship based on the new title.
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Old 18.06.2021, 17:16
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

Hi all, thanks for your kind advice. To answer a few questions:

- I have already been doing the job ad-interim for the last 6 months as my precedessor was on medical leave and eventually decided not to come back.

- it has already been decided that the role will go to me, and we are finalizing the details. The change in leadership has already been announced internally within the management team. I doubt they would backpedal on that based on my salary expectations, although of course you never know!

- unfortunately, they do know that the chances that I will turn down any offer they might give me and leave are really small, as I am already settled in the role. This won't work in my favour.

- the role is a Marketing Director role, leading a team of 10 managers, specialists, and coordinators.
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Old 18.06.2021, 19:47
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Re: Internal promotion from PM to director, what % salary increase?

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Hi all! I work in marketing for a major corporationin a big Swiss city. I have been discussing with HR and my line manager the details of an upcoming promotion that will mean that I go from being a project manager with 0 direct reports, to a Director leading a team of 10 people and managing a budget of 1 mil CHF.

HR asked me to share my salary expectations for the role before they give me an official offer. Therefore I did pretty extensive research online and with recruiters to get a sense of how much that type of role is worth in the market. Based on my research, a fair compensation for the role would be around 150-160k CHF. That would be a 25% - 30% salary increase from my current compensation.

Based on your experience with Swiss companies, do you think that is a realistic salary increase for an internal promotion? Is there a standard % for this type of internal step-ups?

Thank you all for your valuable inputs!
Congratulations on the promotion! I don’t wish to sound cynical but to me the bolded sections appear somewhat incongruous.

In any case, aim high.
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