More than half of job candidates do not negotiate salary

November 2, 2017

Do prospective employees attempt to negotiate their pay or do they simply accept what they are offered? Results of a CareerBuilder survey released on October 27 showed that the majority of workers (56%) do not negotiate for more money when they are offered a job.

Those who avoid it say they don’t attempt it because they don’t feel comfortable asking for more money (51%), they are afraid the employer will decide not to hire them (47%), or they don’t want to appear greedy (36%).

However, the truth is, CareerBuilder says, that while most job candidates avoid negotiating, the majority of employers are expecting a counter offer. Fifty-three percent of employers say they are willing to negotiate salaries on initial job offers for entry-level workers, and 52% say that when they first extend a job offer to an employee, they typically offer a lower salary than they’re willing to pay so there is room to negotiate.

With these dynamics  in play, how much money is being left on the table? Employers who offer a lower salary (26%) admit that  their initial offer is $5,000 or more less than what they are willing to offer the most attractive candidate for the position.

The national surveys were conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder in two stints: From May 24 through June 16, respondents included representative samples of 2,369 full-time employers and 3,462 full-time U.S. workers across industries and company sizes in the private sector/ From August 16 through September 15, respondents included a representative sample of 2,257 full-time employers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

So who is most likely to negotiate for higher pay? The survey found that a new hire’s willingness to negotiate the first job offer may come with more experience. Forty-five percent of workers 35 or older typically negotiate the first offer, which is higher than workers ages 18-34 (42 %).

What’s more, nearly half of men (47%) say they negotiate first offers, compared to 42% of women.

Information technology workers (59%) are the most likely to negotiate salary, followed by sales professionals (55%), and financial services (53%) and healthcare workers (48%).

Research contact: