Survey Demonstrates that Many Employers are Willing to Talk Salary in 2011

by: Nichole Gunn February 10, 2011

A U.S. online survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder found that a number of employers are willing to talk salary in 2011. The survey involved 2,457 U.S. hiring managers, and the time period covered August 17 through September 2, 2010.

According to the survey, 43 percent of employers feared that an improved economy, therefore improved job market, will tempt top talent to jump ship, but only 31 percent stated they were willing to negotiate employee salaries. Along with this, 51 percent of the participants noted that they would be flexible with new employee negotiations.

Interestingly, certain industries were more likely to favor bargaining tactics in 2011 than others: 45 percent of IT employers; 41 percent in professional and business services; 39 percent in retail; and 38 percent in sales.

“While it is undoubtedly an employer’s market, many recognize the added responsibility workers have had to shoulder without the added pay," explained Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. She added that although salary levels weren’t expected to change significantly, “the willingness to negotiate better deals with current and potential employees is a positive indicator for the employment recovery."

Highlights of the survey showed effective compensation negotiation strategies that employees can use. The following are listed with the most effective first:

1. Be specific about the accomplishments you achieved

2. Be precise - know your position’s pay range and know what salary you want

3. Be knowledgeable - know what is important to the company

4. Be prepared – approach your employer with past performance reviews

As the economy slowly heads into an employee’s market, employee retention is something employers will need to address. Employers will need to take advantage of incentives and rewards programs to enhance employee loyalty. They will also need to implement effective employee recognition strategies.