Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Survey Results

Let’s Talk About Paychecks, Baby

Third of employers are willing to negotiate salariesMake that paycheck increases…baby.

The fact is, as the job market continues to pick up, your employees (current and prospective) are starting to get antsy for more cash, and it’s entirely possible they’re getting better offers elsewhere.  According to a recent CareerBuilder survey of over 2,400 hiring managers nationwide, about one third of employers are willing to negotiate salary increases for employees in 2011. So, what’s your story?

If you’re not among this group, hopefully, it’s because you already have a solid compensation strategy that gives you a competitive edge in talent attraction and retention. Either way, you can see where you fall among your competitors when it comes to salary offers and pay raises by checking out the following…

Highlights of CareerBuilder’s survey on employers’ willingness to negotiate salary increases for 2011:

  • 31 percent of participants said they are willing to negotiate 2011 salary increases with current employees.
  • Half (51 percent) plan to leave some negotiating room when extending initial offers to new employees.
  • 21 percent are willing to extend two or more offers to the same candidate.
  • When it comes to industries with the most wiggle room – and willingness – to negotiate salary increases, IT leads the pack, followed closely by retail, sales, and professional and business services.

(Learn more about the survey results here.)

Salary Negotiation Do’s and Don’ts
So since we’ve raised the subject, here are a few tips on handling employee pay raises (or lack thereof)

DO: Make sure you know of the going compensation rates right now. Check out industry Web sites for your occupational and geographic areas and others that specialize in salary information, such as, or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You’ll be able to make informed decisions when it comes to salary negotiations – and ensure that neither you or your employees get the raw end of the deal.

DON’T: Give your employees false hope. If, despite crunching the numbers every which way, a pay raise is simply not in the budget, be honest with your employees, and try to give them an ETA for when they might be able to expect to see their compensation levels go up.

DO: Find other ways to compensate employees. Take a cue from survey participants and find opportunities to round out employees’ paychecks by offering some alternative perks. Among the most popular perks employers are offering right now:

  • More flexible work hours (42 percent)
  • Bonuses (29 percent)
  • Training (23 percent)
  • Vacation time (21 percent)
  • More casual dress codes (17 percent)
  • Academic reimbursement (14 percent)
  • Title change (14 percent)

DON’T: Assume you know what your employees want. Take inventory of your employees’ wants when it comes to certain benefits. Not only will you be sure that the benefits you offer don’t go to waste, but your employees will appreciate that you took their preferences into consideration.

DO: Ditch the “employees will take what they can get” mindset.  Because they won’t. Job seekers are being more and more particular when it comes to accepting job offer, according to a recent survey from Personified, CareerBuilder’s talent consulting arm. Of the 17 percent of unemployed workers who received a job offer since becoming unemployed, 92 percent rejected the offer, with over half (54 percent) saying they did so because the offer was too low.

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


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