- Two in five workers become disinterested in a job offer if an employer won't negotiate details beyond salary, a survey from staffing firm Robert Half revealed. However, 21% of workers surveyed said they don't negotiate after receiving a job offer.
- In a separate survey of chief financial officers, Robert Half found that 98% said their organizations are open to negotiating some aspect of job offers with candidates, and 63% said pay is negotiable. Slightly fewer CFOs said their companies are willing to negotiate training and development opportunities, benefits and remote work or scheduling arrangements.
- "In today's competitive hiring market, employers must go the extra mile to land their first-choice candidates," Steve Saah, executive director of Robert Half's Finance & Accounting division, said in a statement. "If managers are unwilling to bend on elements beyond compensation, they risk watching top applicants walk away. Employers should aim for productive job offer discussions that include perks and benefits to reach an agreement that helps both the team and candidate."
Workers may be hesitant in some cases to negotiate things like benefits and flexibility with employers, but recent research suggests more relaxed attitudes toward salary negotiations. In fact, 55% of professionals in a prior Robert Half poll said they negotiated higher pay during their last job offer. The survey results suggest workers may be more aware of their value in today's tight labor market and less intimidated to ask about the compensation.
But not all data on the subject are uniform. A Monster survey released in August found that 67% of respondents weren't able to negotiate their current salary, and about 42% said employers instead told them what they would be earning. Only 4% of those surveyed by Monster were offered a higher salary than they had asked for.
There also may be built-in biases when it comes to pay negotiations. In a 2018 study, researchers found that biased talent evaluators expected candidates who were black wouldn't negotiate salary with the same frequency as their white counterparts. When black candidates in the experiments did negotiate, however, employers ended up paying them lower starting salaries than those given to white applicants. A 2018 report by PayScale found people of color are less likely to receive a requested raise than white men.
Although bias of any kind can be hard to detect, HR can build and maintain a workplace that prevents discriminatory practices by monitoring how compensation decisions and promotions are made, flagging disparities and conducting periodic pay audits.