Not too hard to figure that today’s employment climate is a buyers’ market. New research shows just how desperate applicants have gotten.
Even though 45% of employers are willing – and expect – to negotiate salaries for initial job offers, almost half (49%) of workers accept the first offer given to them, according to a recent CareerBuilder poll.
Who is most likely to negotiate?
Age: The survey found that a new hire’s willingness to negotiate the first job offer usually comes with more experience. Fifty-five percent of workers 35 or older typically negotiate the first offer, which is significantly higher than workers age 18-34 (45%).
Gender: Men (54%) are more likely than women (49%) to negotiate first offers.
Industry: Professional & business services workers (56%) are the most likely to negotiate salary, followed by: information technology (55%), leisure and hospitality (55%) and sales workers (54%).
When the money’s not there
If unable to meet the job candidate’s salary requirements, a majority of employers are willing to provide alternative benefits. Employers said they would offer the following:
- Flexible schedule: 33%
- More vacation time: 19%
- Telecommute at least once per week: 15%
- Pay for mobile device: 14%
Thirty-eight percent said they would not be able to provide anything.
Salary trends for the coming year
For current employees, 51% of employers expect salary increases of less than 5% in the next year while 16% expect increases of 5% or more. The survey also asked employers about expected average compensation increases for current workers and new hires.
Twenty-three percent of all employers expect no changes; 9% are unsure.
Of those employers expecting an increase in salary, a majority (55%) said the increase is a standard cost of living adjustment. Other reasons include:
- Rewarding employee tenure –28%
- Combatting voluntary employee turnover – 21%
- Smaller staffs are handling heavier workloads – 19%
- Competitors are offering more money – 18%, and
- Customer demand has increased – 16%.
For new hires, more than half (54%) of hiring managers and HR pros reported that they are willing to negotiate salaries on initial job offers in the next year. For offers given to new hires, 34% of employers say the average change in compensation is expected to grow less than 5% in the next year, and 16% expect increases of 5% or more. Thirty-four percent anticipate no change, 3% expect decreases, and 14% are unsure.
Thirty-nine percent of employers expecting increases for new hires say the hikes are to attract skilled applicants,, and 25% say increases are coming because job offers were turned down due to low compensation.
For both new hires and current employees, information technology hiring managers were nearly twice as likely as the national average to provide salary increases of 5% or more. Sales hiring managers were also significantly more likely than other professions to see increases of 5% or more.