Salary Negotiations Aren’t Happening as Much as You’d Think



A new survey shows that a majority of job finalists are not leveraging the bargaining power they have in this candidates' market.

According to a poll conducted in early 2018 by global staffing firm Robert Half, 39 percent of workers tried to negotiate a higher salary during their last job offer. More than 2,700 professional workers were surveyed.

Forty-six percent of men negotiated salary compared to 34 percent of women. Workers ages 18-34 (45 percent) were more likely to negotiate salary than those ages 35-54 (40 percent) and 55 or older (30 percent). Of the 27 major U.S. cities surveyed, candidates in New York City were most likely to have done so (55 percent). 

"I was surprised at the pretty low number of people negotiating salaries," said Josh Howarth, district president at Robert Half, based in Washington, D.C. "There's such a shortage of skilled talent in today's market, job seekers are in the driver's seat when it comes to compensation and benefits."

He added that job seekers typically don't take the time to research and identify a competitive salary for their position in their local market. "A lot of folks don't know what they don't know. [And] a lot of people don't have much experience with negotiating and aren't comfortable with it so they shy away from it."

[SHRM members-only online discussion platform: SHRM Connect]

When asked how comfortable they were talking with their employer about money, survey respondents said they would be more comfortable negotiating a higher salary with a new employer (54 percent) than asking for a raise in their current job (49 percent).

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