Nearly Half of All Workers Accept First Salary Offer, According to Survey

While 45 percent of employers low-ball prospective employees on their initial salary offers, those offers are accepted 49 percent of the time, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey of 3,000 full-time, private sector workers and 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

“Many employers expect a salary negotiation and build that into their initial offer,” said Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder vice president of human resources. “So when job seekers take the first number given to them, they are oftentimes undervaluing their market worth. Not every hiring manager will be able to raise the offer, but it’s never a bad idea to negotiate—especially if you have experience and possess in-demand technical skills.”

The survey found that workers 35 or older are more likely to negotiate than their 18-to-34-year-old counterparts, and men are more likely to negotiate than women.

A majority of employers that are unable to meet a candidate’s salary demands will attempt to “sweeten the deal” by offering a flexible schedule (33 percent) or more vacation time (19 percent), or by paying for a mobile device (14 percent).

Thirty-eight percent of the companies surveyed indicated they would provide no other inducements to entice the prospect to accept employment.

The survey was conducted between May 14 and June 5, 2013 by Harris Interactive on CareerBuilder’s behalf.