Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

61% of Workers Didn’t Negotiate Higher Salary on Their Last Job Offer

Many job postings close with a statement indicating salary is negotiable, but how often do job seekers speak up to secure a better package?negotiation

According to a survey from global staffing firm Robert Half, 39% of workers tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer. Among people in the 27 U.S. cities surveyed, those in New York City, New York (55%); Dallas, Texas (51%); and San Francisco, California (50%) were most likely to ask for more pay.

In terms of gender, 46% of men negotiated salary compared to 34% of women. Workers ages 18 to 34 (45%) are more likely to negotiate salary than those ages 35 to 54 (40%) and 55 or older (30%).

More than 2,700 workers were surveyed for the study. Respondents were asked, “Thinking of your last job offer, did you try to negotiate for higher pay?” Their responses:

  • Yes: 39%
  • No: 61%

Those who responded “Yes” are listed below, by city:

  • New York, NY: 55%
  • Dallas, TX: 51%
  • San Francisco, CA: 50%
  • Pittsburgh, PA: 48%
  • Los Angeles, CA: 45%
  • Washington, D.C.: 45%
  • Boston, MA: 44%
  • Charlotte, NC: 44%
  • San Diego, CA: 43%
  • Houston, TX: 42%
  • Phoenix, AZ: 42%
  • Chicago, IL: 41%
  • Miami, FL: 41%
  • Austin, TX: 40%
  • Detroit, MI: 39%
  • Cincinnati, OH: 36%
  • Cleveland, OH: 35%
  • Seattle, WA: 35%
  • Atlanta, GA: 34%
  • Salt Lake City, UT: 34%
  • Des Moines, IA: 32%
  • Philadelphia, PA: 31%
  • St. Louis, MO: 31%
  • Denver, CO: 29%
  • Raleigh, NC: 29%
  • Minneapolis, MN: 26%
  • Indianapolis, IN: 24%

A previous study by Robert Half, Confidence Matters, revealed worker confidence levels in talking money with their employers: 54% of workers surveyed felt comfortable negotiating pay in a new job, compared to 49% who felt confident asking for a raise in their current role. Both figures marked an increase over the previous year’s survey results.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, notes that employers are broaching the subject of salary expectations earlier in interviews to streamline the hiring process.

Legislation in many cities and states now prohibits employers from asking candidates about their salary history. This development has removed a long-standing question from the start of the hiring process and forced employers and job seekers to shift their approach to determining compensation.

McDonald adds, “Starting salary should be a factor of the job skills required and current market demand for those skills. That’s why it’s more important than ever for both parties to research market conditions thoroughly to pave the way for realistic, productive discussions.”

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