New survey shows only a third of women negotiate for a higher salary

Many job postings close with a statement indicating salary is negotiable, but how often do job seekers speak up to secure a better package?

Too many people in general don’t negotiate their salary when they’re evaluating a job offer. According to a 2018 survey of 2,700 professional workers in the United States from global staffing firm Robert Half, only 39% of workers tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last job offer — but women tend to negotiate even less often than men: According to that same survey, 46% of men did negotiate, while only 34% of women did. Broken down by workers ages, 18-34 (45%) are more likely to negotiate salary than those ages 35-54 (40%) and 55 or older (30%).

Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, notes that employers are broaching the subject of salary expectations earlier in interviews to streamline the hiring process. He cautions 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."

The same firm polled 750 professional workers in a 2017 confidence survey and found that the number of people who felt confident in asking for a promotion or pay raise was only 49%, down seven percentage points from the previous two years (click on graphic on left side to read properly).