By Chris Morris
January 15, 2019

If you’re considering a job change, there’s no time like the present, according to ZipRecruiter’s 2018 Annual Job Seeker Survey.

Unemployment is at its lowest levels in nearly 50 years and there is a job glut in many parts of the country. That puts job seekers at an advantage. Savvy ones can come out of negotiations with a higher salary.

Unfortunately, many job seekers don’t realize that.

While ZipRecruiter considers workers optimistic about the future, a significant number of people looking for a new gig, nonetheless, feel they must accept the first offer they receive. They don’t negotiate for a higher salary, and worry about the permanence of those positions due to a recession or economic crisis.

Some of those fears are understandable, given the recent volatility on Wall Street, but employers say they are having a hard time finding quality candidates.

According to ZipRecruiter’s survey, 82% of employers said finding quality candidates is their biggest business challenge, while 70% said they were finding it more difficult to hire this year than last.

That could be because people who are turning job offers down are doing so based on salary, rather than proposing a higher counter offering. That same take-it-or-leave-it mindset is seeping into existing employees. The survey said 40% of respondents have not received a pay raise in their current or most recent job. Only 17% of those said they had not been at the job long enough to receive a raise.

“Workers feel dissatisfied with their compensation packages and quit their jobs, even though more than half say they would stay for higher pay,” the study said. “Employers may not realize the degree of dissatisfaction about pay among their workers until it is too late.”

Still hesitant to haggle over salary? A little negotiation can go a long way.

“One recent study of newly hired employees in various industries found that those who choose to negotiate are able to increase their starting salaries by an average of $5,000,” the survey said. “Assuming a 5% pay increase each year over a 45-year career, negotiating a starting salary of $45,000 rather than $40,000 translates into an additional lifetime earnings of over $750K.”

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