A new survey from CareerBuilder points to a mismatch between candidates and employers in salary negotiations—namely, that candidates often don’t think there is one:
[The survey] found that the majority of workers (56 percent) do not negotiate for better pay when they are offered a job. Those who avoid it say they don’t attempt it because they don’t feel comfortable asking for more money (51 percent), they are afraid the employer will decide not to hire them (47 percent), or they don’t want to appear greedy (36 percent).
While most job candidates avoid negotiating, the majority of employers are expecting a counteroffer. Fifty-three percent of employers say they are willing to negotiate salaries on initial job offers for entry-level workers, and 52 percent say when they first extend a job offer to an employee, they typically offer a lower salary than they’re willing to pay so there is room to negotiate. But how much money is being left on the table? More than a quarter of employers who offer a lower salary (26 percent) say their initial offer is $5,000 or more less than what they’re willing to offer.
The survey, conducted earlier this year by Harris Poll among 2,300 employers and 3,400 full-time employees, also dug up some demographic data to inform the debate over the role of the “negotiation gap” in gender and other pay gaps. It found that employees over 35 were slightly more likely to negotiate (45 percent) than the younger crowd (42 percent), and that 47 percent of men negotiated as opposed to 42 percent of women. These differences are meaningful, but CareerBuilder’s broader takeaway is that regardless of their demographics, a slight majority of candidates are just not negotiating at all. The exception is in sectors like IT, sales, and financial services, where over 50 percent of employees said they negotiated their salaries.
This year’s crop of college graduates, some of the first recognized members of Generation Z to enter the workforce, are doing so at an opportune moment. In the US, the college wage premium has never been higher, meaning these grads stand to earn much more than their peers without degrees. The graduate hiring market is also robust, with CareerBuilder reporting last month that 74 percent of employers plan to hire recent college graduates this year, the best outlook since 2007 and seven percentage points above last year’s figure. In terms of pay, CareerBuilder found that half of employers plan to pay graduates higher salaries this year than last, and 39 percent will pay starting salaries of $50,000 or more a year, up from 27 percent last year.
However, the job search site also found that “some employers are concerned that new college grads may not be ready for the workforce”:
Seventeen percent do not feel academic institutions are adequately preparing students for roles needed within their organizations, a decrease from 24 percent last year. When asked where academic institutions fall short, these employers cited the following concerns:
- Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning: 44 percent
- I need workers with a blend of technical skills and those skills gained from liberal arts: 38 percent
- Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today: 23 percent
- Technology is changing too quickly for an academic environment to keep up: 17 percent
- Not enough focus on internships: 17 percent
- Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs: 12 percent
Meanwhile, Fast Company’s Lydia Dishman flags another new survey from iCIMS, which finds that graduates have high expectations for their job prospects, but even in today’s employee-driven labor market, these expectations may be a bit unrealistic:
Three quarters of employed American adults plans to keep working either part-time or full-time after they reach retirement age, according to a new survey from Gallup:
Nearly two in three employed U.S. adults, 63%, say they plan to work past retirement age, but on a part-time basis. An additional 11% say they will work full time once they hit retirement age. A quarter of employed Americans say they will stop working altogether. …
Of those who say they will continue working, but only full time, the majority plan to do so because they want to, not because they have to. The proportion of “want to” versus “will have to” explanations has edged up slightly since 2013. The percentage who say they “want to” keep working part time has also risen, from 34% to 44%. There has been a decline in nonretirees’ intentions to continue working full time, from 9% “will have to” in 2013 to 5% today, while the percentage who “will have to” work part time has dropped from 26% to 18%.
Americans also have differing views on what constitutes “retirement age,” Gallup found. While the official retirement age—i.e., the age at which Americans can being collecting their full Social Security benefits—is 65, only about a quarter of respondents to the survey said they planned to retire at exactly that age, while 39 percent said they intended to retire after 65 and 29 percent said they expected to retire earlier.
Some economists have expressed concern that the US labor pool is insufficiently mobile to fill in the gaps in local labor markets with talent shortages, which contributes to wide disparities in unemployment rates among various metropolitan areas. The concentration of jobs and workers in certain areas also drives up housing costs in places like Silicon Valley, making it that much harder for those who do want to “go where the jobs are” to actually do so.
Yet Roy Maurer at SHRM passes along some new survey findings from Indeed showing that when Americans do move, they often do so in pursuit of a better job:
Indeed’s survey of 4,000 respondents showed that 45 percent of people who relocated within the past year did so for occupational reasons—either for long-term career prospects or for a job offer they couldn’t resist. Personal reasons play a key role in the decision to move for many as well, selected by nearly a quarter of respondents (24 percent).
Sixty percent of those who moved for their careers cited a stronger job market as a driver, while 48 percent chose better opportunities for skill-building and 43 percent moved for increased compensation and benefits.
In the increasingly polarized politics of the US, political tensions have been making their presence felt in the workplace since last year’s presidential campaign season, putting employers in the position of trying to defuse political conflicts that can hurt morale, team cohesion, and productivity. This challenge was not resolved after November’s election—indeed, it then became even more pressing for business leaders to navigate these troubled political waters carefully.
A newly released survey from the American Psychological Association shows that political discussions in the workplace are still having a negative effect on employees, with 26 percent saying they had experienced stress or tension due to such debates. Washington Post columnist Jena McGregor peruses the APA’s findings:
The survey of more than 1,300 employed adults in late February and early March also found that 21 percent said they have felt more cynical and negative at work because of all the political talk, compared with 15 percent in August. And some 40 percent of workers said the divisive, distracting environment has caused at least one negative outcome for them, whether in the form of reduced productivity, poorer work quality, difficulty getting work done, increased hostility in the workplace or having a more negative view of co-workers. In August, just 27 percent said they’d had such a negative outcome. …
Before the election, [David Ballard, the director of the APA’s Center for Organizational Effectiveness,] said, there was little difference in the way political talk on the job was affecting Republicans versus Democrats, and those who identify as liberals or conservatives. But in the more recent survey, there was a big divide when it came to political philosophy: Those who identify as liberals were more likely to feel stressed and tense at work because of political conversations (38 percent said they were) compared with those who identify as moderate or conservative (22 and 21 percent, respectively).
By comparison, a Gallup survey released last week found that employee engagement among Democrats had recovered from an apparent post-election slump—though this does not necessarily contradict the APA’s finding that liberal workers are experiencing increased stress and tension:
Silicon Valley (yhelfman/Shutterstock)
A survey commissioned by the Kapor Center for Social Impact and released last week looks into the reasons why employees in the US tech sector quit their jobs. Nicholas Cheng at SF Gate outlines the 2017 Tech Leavers Study’s findings, which include the startling figures that women are twice as likely to quit as men, while black and Latino employees are 3.5 times as likely to quit as their white or Asian colleagues:
The most common reason they gave for their departures was workplace mistreatment. … Of those surveyed, 37 percent said they left their jobs because they felt they were unfairly treated; 78 percent said they had experienced some form of unfair treatment; and 85 percent said they had witnessed ill treatment happening to someone else at work. Black and Latino employees, the study said, were more likely to leave due to unfair treatment at work than white or Asian colleagues.
“This study is one step forward in demonstrating that there is a problem across the tech industry,” said Allison Scott, the center’s chief research officer. “We’ve seen the anecdotes and stories written lately and what we found is that those are not one-off stories, these are experiences happening across the sector and it’s a driver for people to leave.”
Feelings of unfair treatment were by no means exclusive, however, to women and underrepresented minorities, as Bloomberg’s Ellen Huet points out:
Last summer, a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Kimberly Hively, a former part-time employee of Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, who said her employer had denied her a full-time job on the basis of her sexual orientation. In that ruling, the judges expressed the opinion that federal anti-discrimination law should include explicit protections for LGBT employees, but found no justification for allowing Hively’s discrimination case to proceed. Hesitant to legislate from the bench, the court said any change in the law or its interpretation should only come from Congress or the Supreme Court.
The case was subject to an en banc rehearing by the full court, however, and on Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit reversed the panel’s finding and ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, does indeed apply to LGBT people, the Associated Press reports:
Judge Richard Posner asked the attorney for the community college, John Maley: “Who will be hurt if gays and lesbians have a little more job protection?” When Maley said he couldn’t think of anyone who would be harmed, Posner shot back, “So, what’s the big deal?” Posner also said it was wrong to say a decades-old statute is “frozen” on the day it passed and that courts can never broaden its scope.
Eight out of the 11 judges who reheard the case, including Posner, were appointed by Republican presidents. … The issue could still land before the Supreme Court at some point. A GOP-majority House and Senate make it unlikely the Congress will amend the statute.
The court’s full opinion can be read here. BuzzFeed reporter Chris Geidner highlights the crux of the judges’ argument: