Candidates Please Be More Straight Forward When Negotiating Salary

Candidate Crossing Fingers Salary

This time in 2023 candidates were in control. When Wright began measuring Engineering Talent Demand there was seven open jobs for every one engineer looking for work. Good engineers had more options than ever before and could name their price with respect to compensation. We saw engineers getting 50% to, in some cases, 100% salary increases when making a move.

Fast forward to today and demand is less than 50% of what it was a year ago. There are currently three openings for each engineer looking to change jobs. The market has normalized.

What does this mean for you Mr. and Mrs. Engineer? This means employers now have options. Not a ton, but they have options. If you turn down their job, they will fill it with another candidate. Now this doesn’t mean you should hold back and not push for the maximum compensation package you can get. We have a client that regularly says she understands when candidates push because “if you’re not fighting for yourself, who will?”

This does mean though that once you’ve agreed on a figure, keep your word and don’t play games.

For the first time in a while we saw a client rescind an offer this week. It wasn’t with our candidate so no sweat by us. But here’s what happened. Early in the interview process the candidate and the employer aligned on compensation. It wasn’t quite as much as the candidate would have liked but they agreed that, if offered the job, they would accept that number. It turned out the candidate had his fingers crossed when making that commitment. They completed the interview process, received the offer and responded immediately with a demand for 20% more money. A year ago that behavior would have been perfectly acceptable and the employer would have begrudgingly agreed. Today that’s a big no no. You will upset your future coworkers, potentially to the point where they tell you to get lost. And that’s exactly what happened here.

The lesson. Fight for yourself, push for a pay day you can be excited about. Once you give your word though, keep it and everyone involved will start your new employment relationship happy and with a high sense of trust.

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