Yes, You Should Be Prepared to Negotiate Salary

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How often do job seekers speak up to secure a better package? Staffing firm Robert Half recently asked this question of professionals, and the results were interesting.

For instance, 39 percent of workers tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer.

Among people in the 27 U.S. cities surveyed, those in New York (55 percent), Dallas (51 percent) and San Francisco (50 percent) were most likely to ask for more pay.

In terms of gender, 46 percent of men negotiated salary compared to 34 percent of women. Workers ages 18-34 (45 percent) are more likely to negotiate salary than those ages 35-54 (40 percent) and 55 or older (30 percent).

More than 2,700 workers were surveyed for the study.

A previous study by Robert Half, Confidence Matters, revealed worker confidence levels in talking money with their employers: 54 percent of workers surveyed felt comfortable negotiating pay in a new job, compared to 49 percent who felt confident asking for a raise in their current role. Both figures marked an increase over the previous year’s survey results.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, noted that employers are broaching the subject of salary expectations earlier in interviews to streamline the hiring process. He alerted job seekers to two common pitfalls:

“First and foremost, avoid negotiating any part of the compensation package until after you’ve received a formal offer.”

“Second, don’t go into a negotiation without practicing the conversation in person with a trusted friend or mentor. Someone who has been in your position can help you prepare for the unexpected and make a stronger case.”

Good advice.