Written by: Connie Huber, SHRM-CP PHR
Salary negotiations have always been a part of the hiring process. However, there has been a notable shift in negotiations being the new normal for today’s job seeker. What is the driving force behind this effort? Is it due to a tight labor market or access to salary information that gives candidates more confidence to exercise their negotiating power?
According to recent research from Robert Half determined the following:
- 55% of professionals surveyed tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last employment offer. 16 point jump from similar survey released in 2018
- Survey of 2,800 workers with equal member of senior managers, also found that respondents from Miami, San Diego and San Francisco were most likely to ask for more pay and those from Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Cleveland were the least likely.
- 68% of male employees tried negotiating pay compared to 45% of women
- More professionals ages 18-34 (65%) asked for higher salaries versus those ages 35 to 54 (55%) and 55 and older (38%).
- In a separate survey, 70% of senior managers said they expected some back and forth negotiating from candidates. More senior managers said they were open to negotiating pay (62%) and benefits and perks (59%) than a year ago.
Jack Milligan: Career HR Guy, Founding Partner, Founder and Instructor, Author! Jack’s career has allowed him to be involved and exposed to all aspects of HR. One of his most significant accomplishment was that he hired, or was involved in the hiring, of more than 20,000 employees. Needless to say, Jack is well-versed on the subject of salary negotiations.
Jack has come to the following premise:
- Most people DON’T negotiate – 75% of those who could, DON’T
- Of those who DO negotiate – most do it wrong
- Only about 10% of those who could negotiate do it right – “according to Jack”.
- Jack’s objective is to make us comfortable with being a 10% skilled negotiator
Negotiating is an art! Key competencies are patience and courage.
- You get better with practice
- Negotiating salary is intensely personal
- Most people don’t ask – 75% accept
- Negotiating is not just for today, but also for your future
WHY, we don’t negotiate?
- Most don’t think we have the leverage to negotiate
- Most are happy/relieved to have an offer
- Gender differences play a key role along generational differences
- Most people do not ask – they accept what is offered.
- Those who do not negotiate leave a pile of $$$ on the table
Three legitimate salary channels of negotiation and realities:
- Ultimatum: 5% succeed, over 70% fail. Excessive in both amount and attitude; creates lasting negative impression; 30% success rate. “Thank you for the $90K offer, I need to make at least $130k to get me to move.” Candidate is very “take or leave it”.
- Reality: Works only in seller’s market where candidate is being recruited, has highly valued skills, is currently well situated and can afford to pass on an opportunity.
- Demand: More sincere and reasonable, states a specific amount, leaves negotiation choice up to employer, allows walk-away without counter. 30% failure rate less than half of 70% at the demand point. “Thank you for the $90k offer I want at least $100k.”
- Reality: Works only by default. States a certain number and is demanding. Lets the employer vacate the offer with a counter which includes unnecessary risk.
- Requestive: Ask a question, implies flexibility, creates negotiable environment, makes positive impression, requires a response. Zero risk, 91% successful in getting something tangible, 9% get peace of mind. “Thank you for the $90k offer… do you have any flexibility in the offer, or do you have any room to negotiate, or do you have any wiggle room?”.
- Reality: Works without failure or risk. Makes a positive statement to the employer while injecting uncertainty in an employer driven process. Creates an opportunity for positive negotiations. Maximizes the offer.
- NEVER/EVER accept the offer when it is given. Clarify any questions you have and take some time to think about the offer.
- All jobs are temporary in today’s workforce. Realizing this early in the process will put us in the mindset of negotiation.
- Practice patience (patience is the key to your success), courage and planning to get better at negotiation.
- Do not accept the offer on the spot and do not hesitate to ask questions. Always ask appropriately.
- 91% of those who tried the negotiation channels get some tangible results.
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