Want a Raise? Act Now


Expectations of economic recovery have employers nervous about losing talent, which can only mean good things for employees.

Indeed, 31% of hiring managers surveyed in a new CareerBuilder survey said they were willing to negotiate salary increases for current employees next year, and 51% said they would leave negotiating room when extending offers to new hires.

Why? They're worried about the economy improving: 43% reported a concern that their top talent would leave as more new jobs become available.

Already, the results have been confirmed in the real world, with recent news that Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) would grant every one of its 23,300 employees a $1,000 holiday bonus this year, and a 10% pay raise the next.

Tech companies actually responded more favorably than any other industry to the idea of raises in the survey, with 45% of hiring managers reporting a willingness to give their employees a better deal.

As Rosemary Haefner, the vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.com, says in the press release, “While it is undoubtedly an employer’s market, many recognize the added responsibility workers have had to shoulder without the added pay."

To take advantage of the changing employment picture, CareerBuilder offers two tips:

•    Know your value. Look at salary comparison information on sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks data for different jobs in different locations in the U.S. If you know what a reasonable salary range is, you will be taken more seriously in your negotiations.

•    Sell yourself. According to the survey, 48% of employers recommended highlighting your specific achievements for the company, and 26% said to come prepared with your history of performance reviews. The more homework you do for them, the easier it will be for them to give you a better package.

Some companies can’t afford to give the kind of pay raise Google employees will get, but that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate for better perks. The 2,457 hiring managers that make up the survey, which was conducted nationwide by Harris Interactive from August 17 to September 2, were asked what kind of perks they could offer in lieu of a raise: flexible hours (42%), a one-time bonus (29%), vacation time (21%), a more casual dress code (17%) or a title change (14%) were all listed as options.

There is no doubt that employees have been asked for several years now to do more with less, if they have been able to keep their jobs at all. It looks like now, the shoe is moving to the other foot - no matter how strict the dress code might be.

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