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September 06, 2007
Workers Feel More Confident to Negotiate for Higher Pay

Workers are more likely to negotiate for a better compensation package if offered a new position this year than they were last year, according to a survey by Robert Half International (RHI) and CareerBuilder.com.

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Fifty-eight percent workers said they would likely negotiate higher compensation if accepting a new job offer today, compared with 29 percent in last year's poll.

"With an employee-driven market comes a shift in negotiating power," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.com. "Workers are becoming more aggressive in demands for compensation and benefits with both current and potential employers. But it's important to remember that while higher pay may help to initially appease the employee, it's ultimately the overall work culture, sense of personal contribution and opportunities that keep an employee on board."

The survey also asked hiring managers about the difficulty in finding qualified candidates. The number of employers expressing concern over the ability to fill open positions has climbed steadily since the organization's launched the survey in 2005.

In 2005, 42 percent of hiring managers reported it was difficult to recruit qualified employees 12 months prior and 32 percent felt it was even more challenging at the present time. In 2006, 55 percent of hiring managers reported it was difficult to recruit qualified staff 12 months prior while 34 percent stated that it was even more challenging at the present time. In 2007, 57 percent of hiring managers reported it was difficult to recruit qualified employees 12 months prior and 33 percent felt it is even more challenging today. Sixty-four percent of current respondents believe recruiting will be just as challenging 12 months from now while 28 percent believe it will be even more challenging.

The survey found that hiring managers said professional and technical staff members were the most difficult to recruit. Forty-three percent of employers said they are struggling to find candidates for these positions, an increase from 37 percent last year. Seventeen percent reported difficulty filling director, manager, supervisor and team leader positions, up from 15 percent the prior year. The survey results also show that these are the types of positions for which employers are most likely to increase compensation.

About one in five employers attributed their difficulty in recruiting qualified staff to the inability to offer competitive salaries. Still, 37 percent plan to increase compensation for new hires, which is consistent with last year.

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