Survey: Over 40% of job candidates say ‘bye’ if employers won’t negotiate
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
We’re currently at or close to full employment, and companies need to be more flexible if they want to snag desirable job candidates.
According to a recent Robert Half survey, applicants aren’t afraid to walk away when companies aren’t willing to negotiate — and not just on salary. In the survey, 43% of respondents said they lost interest in a job offer because the company was unwilling to negotiate elements beyond salary.
So, what are the other areas that job applicants want to negotiate?
- Professional development
- Remote work or scheduling arrangements
- Job title
“I wasn’t very surprised with these findings given the competitiveness of our current hiring market,” says Steve Saah, executive director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting. “If companies are too rigid when it comes to job offer negotiations, they risk losing qualified candidates to businesses who are willing to be flexible.”
With unemployment rates at 50-year lows, Saah says managers need to realize that workers have the upper hand in the hiring market. “Job seekers realize that if one company isn’t offering them what they want, another firm may be willing to.”
However, the survey also reveals that executives are willing to be flexible when negotiating with job candidates:
- 63% are flexible negotiating salary
- 52% are flexible negotiating professional development/training reimbursement
- 47% are flexible negotiating benefits
- 45% are flexible negotiating remote work or scheduling arrangements
- 38% are flexible negotiating job title
- 2% said they are unwilling to negotiate with job candidates
A few notes: professional development can range from graduate school to continuing professional development to inhouse training.
Benefits typically include health insurance, paid time off, dental insurance, a retirement savings plan, and vision insurance. Other types of benefits include wellness programs (physical, mental, financial).
Remote work is rising in popularity for a variety of reasons. Another Robert Half survey reveals that 50% of workers believe their commute is stressful, and 45% feel it’s too long.
Advice to help managers negotiate
To be an effective negotiator, Saah says you need to know what you’re prepared to offer and where you draw the line. “For example, are you OK with a rock star candidate who requests a remote work arrangement due to a bad commute? Or someone who requests quarterly learning opportunities?”
You’ll need to determine what you’ll lose if the best candidate gets away. If the best candidate is far superior to your other options, is it worth it to save a few thousand dollars in professional development costs?
Also, remote work can mean the difference between the very best candidate and the very best candidate in a 25- to 50-mile radius. “In a separate survey, 43% of senior managers said their company offers flexible scheduling to avoid peak traffic times and 40% offer telecommuting to help alleviate employees’ stressful trips,” Saah says.
“Think about what’s feasible and what you’re prepared to offer to land your top choice.”
He also recommends shifting your mindset regarding what you’re offering. “Job offer negotiations are often two-way conversations that take into account both parties’ requests.”
Advice to help employees negotiate
When negotiating, Saah says job candidates should know what is most important to them going into the conversation and weigh all aspects of the offer. “Enter negotiations with a solid understanding of current compensation trends for your position and location.”
That’s because the salary for you position can vary based on industry, experience, city, and a variety of other factors. He recommends sources such as Robert Half’s Salary Guides to ensure you have realistic expectations.
“If the hiring manager offers a lower amount than you expected, bring up other things you can negotiate, like a flexible schedule or opportunities to learn and grow with the company,” Saah advises.
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