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Workers may be leaving money on the table

August 21 2013

Many workers could be leaving money on the table, according to a survey by CareerBuilder. The survey found that 49 percent of workers accept the first offer given to them although 45 percent of employers are willing – and expect – to negotiate salaries for initial job offers.

“Many employers expect a salary negotiation and build that into their initial offer. So when job seekers take the first number given to them they are oftentimes undervaluing their market worth,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Not every hiring manager will be able to raise the offer, but it’s never a bad idea to negotiate — especially if you have experience and possess in-demand, technical skills.”

If unable to meet the job candidate’s salary requirements, most employers were willing to provide alternative benefits. Employers said they would offer the following:

  • Flexible schedule: 33 percent
  • More vacation time: 19 percent
  • Telecommute at least once per week: 15 percent
  • Pay for mobile device: 14 percent
  • Unable to provide anything: 38 percent

For new hires, 54 percent of hiring managers and HR professionals reported that they are willing to negotiate salaries on initial job offers in the next year.

For current employees, 51 percent of employers expect salary increases of less than 5 percent in the next year while 16 percent expect increases of 5 percent 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 and 9 percent are unsure.

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 percent or more. Sales hiring managers were also significantly more likely than other professions to see increases of 5 percent or more.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 2,999 U.S. workers. The survey was conducted between May 14 and June 5, 2013.

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