April 2013: Tapped, but not Tapped Out

The call comes, the offer letter arrives, and the negotiation begins. Well, two out of the three.

According to a majority of hiring managers and recruiters, more than half of tech professionals accept the first offer without negotiating either starting salaries or hourly rates. That’s remarkable and costly.

How costly? The plurality of respondents tagged five percent, as the average bump tech professionals receive from the initial offer when they negotiate. Five percent may not sound like a lot, but let’s do the math.

The national average salary for technology professionals is currently $85,619. In year one, not haggling costs $4,300 on average. More in Silicon Valley, less in Cleveland. Other costs: Performance pay, like bonuses, is usually rewarded as a percentage of salaries, not to mention, the compounding effects over a long career.

The only explanation for the lack of haggling is fear. When fear creeps into a negotiation or stops it all together, it’s good to remember negotiation is simply a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement. And, both sides want an agreement – only 18 percent of hiring managers said companies rarely or never change their initial offer. That compares to 33 percent of hiring pros that reported upping the ante is at least a frequent or a very frequent occurrence.

Straight-talk meetings are a standard in tech departments, there’s no reason tech professionals can’t do that with job offers. The company has tapped the talent, but the employer is not tapped out – ask for more.

Tom Silver
Senior Vice President, Dice.com

2013-04-03 Top Tech Metro Areas

*A single job posting may reflect more than one skill, location or type of position; therefore total figures for those attributes may be greater than total jobs posted.