Salary negotiations are the new normal for most job seekers
- New research from Robert Half found that 55% of professionals tried negotiating a higher salary with their last job offer, a 16-point increase from a similar survey released in 2018. The global staffing firm said the latest survey results suggest that today’s job seekers have more confidence in their negotiating power. The survey of 2,800 workers, with an equal number of senior managers, also found that respondents from Miami, San Diego and San Francisco were the most likely to ask for more pay, and those from Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Cleveland were the least likely.
- Key survey results showed that: 68% of male employees tried negotiating pay, compared to 45% of women; more professionals ages 18 to 34 (65%) asked for higher salaries versus those ages 35 to 54 (55%) and 55 and older (38%); and most of the senior managers who said they expect candidates to negotiate salaries were in Boston (80%), Washington, D.C., and Denver (78% each).
- In a separate survey, 70% of senior managers said they expected some back and forth negotiating from candidates. And more senior managers said they were open to negotiating pay (62%) and benefits and perks (59%) than they were a year ago.
Is it the tight labor market or access to salary information that’s giving candidates more confidence to exercise their negotiating power? Paul McDonald, Robert Half’s senior executive director, said that because employees with specialized skills are in high demand, they could be weighing different job offers. "With the odds in their favor, it's little wonder more professionals are comfortable negotiating not only salary but also nonmonetary benefits, such as vacation days, flexible schedules and professional development," McDonald said in a statement.
Other reports show that men are more likely to negotiate salary than women, which some employment experts say might be one reason for the gender-based pay gap. However, while a 2017 Paysa.com study found that 41% of women don't negotiate pay raises, it also found that women's request for higher pay is denied more often.
Not all staffers or candidates will negotiate their salaries, but managers must be open and ready to engage in negotiations. Today's workers have easy access to salary information — and a market that will allow them to walk if their demands aren't met.