Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

Unwilling to Negotiate? Kiss that Candidate Goodbye

In a tight labor market, employers need to pull out all the stops to attract and retain top talent. One way to entice jobseekers to accept the offer is to negotiate a variety of perks, but beware: Candidates will lose interest if your company is unwilling to negotiate beyond the salary level.


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According to new survey findings—released by Robert Half—43% of workers admitted they’ve lost interest in a position when the company wasn’t willing to negotiate elements beyond salary. Robert Half also surveyed finance executives on the topic, and nearly all (98%) said their companies are open to some back-and-forth with candidates on job offers: 63% are willing to talk about compensation, and many are also prepared to discuss professional development and training reimbursement (52%), benefits (47%), and remote work or scheduling arrangements (45%).

Workers were asked, “Have you ever rejected or lost interest in a job offer because the company was unwilling to negotiate elements beyond salary (e.g., job title, perks and benefits, professional development)?” Their responses:*

  • Yes (43%)
  • No (37%)
  • I’ve never negotiated after receiving a job offer (21%)

*Responses do not total 100% due to rounding.

CFOs were asked, “In which areas, if any, are you willing to be flexible when negotiating with job candidates?” Their responses:**

  • Salary (63%)
  • Professional development and training reimbursement (52%)
  • Benefits (47%)
  • Remote work or scheduling arrangements (45%)
  • Job title (38%)
  • I’m unwilling to negotiate with job candidates (2%)

**Multiple responses were permitted.

“In today’s competitive hiring market, employers must go the extra mile to land their first-choice candidates,” says Steve Saah, Executive Director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting, in a press release. “If managers are unwilling to bend on elements beyond compensation, they risk watching top applicants walk away.”

Saah adds, “Employers should aim for productive job offer discussions that include perks and benefits to reach an agreement that helps both the team and candidate.”

As Robert Half discovered, salary negotiations aren’t the only things employers and candidates are willing to negotiate. If you’re looking to attract and retain top talent try negotiating benefits like paid time off (PTO), vacation time, and other work perks as outlined above.