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Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

We Asked 462 Negotiation Experts About Salary Negotiations — 25 Interesting Findings

If you want to know how to succeed in your next salary negotiation, this article is for you. 

We interviewed 462 procurement professionals about their salary negotiations. Why procurement professionals? They’re the people who negotiate billion-dollar deals for companies worldwide.

They know a thing or two about negotiations. Enough for the introduction, let’s dive into the results!

25 Interesting Findings According to Experts

The following are the salary negotiation secrets revealed by the 462 expert negotiators:

1. 67% of Procurement Professionals Successfully Negotiated Their Salary

The increasing trend of salary negotiation is mainly due to the reduced stigma around negotiations. People are no longer concerned that their employers will perceive them as greedy or difficult. In today’s dynamic and competitive job market, employers anticipate negotiations and view them as a sign of confidence and assertiveness.

2. Myth Busted: Women (60%) Negotiate Almost as Much as Men (68%)

While 68% of men are stepping up to negotiate, a pretty close 60% of women are doing the same. So, why does the myth that women don’t negotiate their salaries persist when the actual numbers are quite close?

The small gap between men (68%) and women (60%) negotiating might seem marginal, but it’s often blown out of proportion due to long-standing stereotypes. Historically, societal norms have painted women as less assertive or confrontational, which can color perceptions and expectations in the professional world. Additionally, when women do negotiate, they might face different outcomes or reactions compared to men, which can discourage others from trying.

Moreover, while the gap is narrow, even a small percentage difference represents thousands of women potentially missing out on higher earnings, which amplifies the issue in discussions about gender equality in the workplace. By understanding these nuances, we can better appreciate why this myth persists and work towards a more balanced negotiation culture that encourages everyone to advocate for themselves effectively.

3. Respondents who chose to negotiate saw an 18.83% salary increase on average. Within this group, 76% are men and only 24% are women

If you are still unsure whether or not to negotiate an offer, it’s time for you to do so. Based on the survey results, respondents who negotiated the salary get an average of 18.83% more from their current offers. The lowest increase that was mentioned is 5%, while the highest could even secure a 100% increase! This could also depend on several factors, for example, the labor market in your country, whether or not you’ve been paid a below-market salary, and other things.

If the companies have stricter budgets and they cannot give you “hard cash”, it is also possible to negotiate the secondary benefits such as health insurance premium, transportation allowance, or paid time off because companies are more willing to be flexible in those areas.

It is also noteworthy that while more women are becoming open to discussing their salaries, the data indicates that only a minority of them actually receive significant pay increases. This disparity underscores the existence of gender-based differences in negotiation outcomes, emphasizing the critical need to address issues of pay equity and gender biases within employment practices.

4. Unequal Outcomes: Men Get 19.66% Raises in Negotiations, Women 15%

Although women (60%) are negotiating almost as often as men (68%),  — they’re not scoring as big as their male counterparts. On average, women are walking away with a 15% raise, while men are pocketing a cool 19.66%. What gives? It seems even when women bring their A-game to pay talks, there’s still a gap to bridge.

This gap not only highlights the ongoing challenges women face in the workplace but also calls for a deeper analysis of the negotiation dynamics and potential systemic biases that may influence these outcomes.

It also becomes imperative to explore the strategies employed by each gender and the broader societal and organizational contexts that shape these negotiations to find strategies that work.

5. Only 10% percent of the respondents gained less than 10% to none in their salary

One of the main factors that contribute to this is the budget constraints of employers. Companies have set salary budgets, which might be further reduced due to the increasing prevalence of AI. However, it is still important to negotiate your salary as it can lead to better outcomes.

6. Procurement Still Male-Dominated: 70% of Roles Held by Men

Of the 462 people completing this survey, 323 are men. There is a long-standing notion that women are still underrepresented in the procurement sector, as most purchasing positions are still held by men.

However, according to Gartner, we are starting to see more and more women working in this field. We could also see more initiatives being carried out to promote inclusivity and diversity in this field.

7. Young Professionals Step Up: 60% of Under-30s Negotiate Salaries, Just Behind 66% of Over-40s

In this survey, we see that younger people (less than 30-year-olds) are starting to know their worth and willing to negotiate their salary, despite the notion that it is usually people with more experience who are more likely to negotiate their salary. We can see here that the difference between the two age groups is not significant.

8. People from Europe are the most likely to negotiate their salary (70%). With the least coming from Africa where only 36% decided to negotiate their salary

People in developed countries seem to be much more proactive about negotiating their salaries than those in developing ones. Why such a stark difference? Well, economic stability and cultural norms play huge roles. 

In developed regions, robust job markets and high employment standards often empower individuals to demand what they’re worth. Meanwhile, in many developing areas, economic constraints and fewer job opportunities might make people more cautious about rocking the boat. It’s not just about asking for more money; it’s about the broader context that either fuels or douses that negotiating fire.

9. The biggest reason for people not to negotiate is due to poor labor market conditions. This is more prevalent in African countries, but the same reasons were also recorded from people in North America, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East

Ever wonder why some folks hold back from negotiating their salaries? It turns out, poor labor market conditions are the big bad wolf here, and this issue isn’t just lurking in one part of the world.

While it’s particularly noticeable in African countries, the same chilly job market breeze is blowing across North America, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. What’s causing this widespread hesitation?

Economic uncertainty can make job seekers feel less secure in pushing for better pay, fearing they might lose the offer in hand. Plus, in regions where jobs are scarce, the power dynamics tilt heavily towards employers.

10. From the group who decided not to negotiate their salary, 31.11% stated this was because of company policies

Some companies have strict policies against salary negotiation to maintain consistency and streamline the hiring process. Many companies establish salary ranges for specific positions, limiting negotiation flexibility.

Furthermore, certain organizations, like some government agencies, have predetermined salaries based on qualifications and experience, leaving little room for individual negotiation.

11. Confidence remains a challenge, with 15% of the respondents avoiding salary negotiations due to self-doubts

Despite these confidence barriers being more prevalent in younger groups of people less than 30 years old, these barriers were also the concern for not negotiating in higher age groups.

However, there is a more nuanced take in the higher age groups, usually with the ones over 50 years old with limited job opportunities and the one who has just reintegrated into the workforce.

12. Only 8.67% believed the initial offer was fair and didn’t see the need to negotiate

Many people are satisfied with the initial offer for two main reasons. First, the applicant may be new and lack the capacity to negotiate. Second, the applicant may be a senior employee with a lot to offer, which should warrant an immediate competitive salary offer from the company.

13. Only 5% of the respondents say they didn’t negotiate because it was their first job and they weren’t aware they could negotiate

Some employees may not feel they have enough leverage or experience to negotiate a higher salary. As a result, they might choose not to negotiate even if their employers could increase their salary or offer more benefits.

The stigma surrounding salary negotiations still exists, but younger generations are more comfortable with asking for higher pay as they are aware of the value they bring to the company.

14. 10% of respondents plan to negotiate salary in their next job opportunity

Procurement professionals will negotiate their salary in their next job to secure higher pay due to the rising cost of goods. Additionally, many countries are now urging companies to be transparent about the salary that they are offering to employees.

An example of this is the European Union urging those companies that have over 100 employees to disclose salary ranges for open positions. This aims to close the gender pay gap and empower workers during negotiations.

15. Preparation Pays: 50%+ of Pros Highlight Market Research in Negotiations

Over half of procurement pros are in on the secret: preparation is your best friend when it comes to salary negotiations. Yes, more than 50% respondents agree that really digging into the market and understanding salary benchmarks can make all the difference at the negotiation table.

Why? Knowledge is power. When you know what the going rate is for your role and have the latest market data at your fingertips, you come off as informed and confident—two killer qualities in a negotiator.

This approach not only levels the playing field but might just tip it in your favor, proving that a little homework can go a long way in boosting those paychecks. So, before you step into your next salary negotiation, remember: prep, prep, prep!

16. At least 40% of respondents emphasize the added value they bring to the role and the company as a negotiation strategy

As online salary information becomes more accessible, job seekers are increasingly aware of their market value. Many now focus on showcasing their unique contributions during negotiations, emphasizing how they can benefit the company.

This strategic approach helps candidates stand out in competitive markets and secure favorable compensation packages aligned with their worth and career goals.

17. 66% Say Data-Backed Justification Boosts Negotiation Success

Two-thirds of the crowd have spoken, and they’re revealing a game-changer secret in salary negotiations: transparent value communication with a side of data-backed justification.

This strategy isn’t just about talking the talk; it’s about walking the walk with solid numbers and facts in hand. When you lay your cards on the table clearly and support your claims with concrete data, you transform the negotiation from a mere discussion to a compelling, evidence-driven presentation.

This method does more than boost credibility; it significantly impacts the outcome, making it more likely that you’ll walk away with the pay you truly deserve. So next time you’re gearing up for that salary discussion, remember: transparency plus data equals a powerful negotiation combo that’s hard to beat.

18. Negotiators Rate Themselves 5 Out of 7 in Confidence During Negotiations

As individuals recognize the value they bring to their roles, confidence in negotiating their salary is increasing. However, it’s important to note that people might overestimate their negotiation skills. Nevertheless, confidence remains crucial during salary negotiations.

19. Confidence Gap: 67% of Men, and 55% of Women View Themselves as Tough Negotiators

This disparity could stem from various factors. Social and cultural expectations often paint a picture of ideal male and female behaviors, where men are typically encouraged to be assertive and competitive—qualities that are easily associated with tough negotiating.

Women, on the other hand, might deal with conflicting expectations that praise them for being cooperative and communal, potentially making them view themselves as less tough in negotiations.

Additionally, the feedback women receive during and after negotiations could influence their self-perception. If women who negotiate assertively face more pushback or negative responses compared to their male counterparts, it could deter them from viewing themselves as tough negotiators, even if they are effectively advocating for themselves.

Understanding these dynamics can help reshape how we think about negotiation training and gender in the workplace, aiming for a more balanced view that supports everyone’s potential as a negotiator.

20. Experience Counts: Older Workers See Themselves as Tough Negotiators

It turns out, as negotiators age, they increasingly see themselves as tougher at the bargaining table. Older respondents, in particular, are more likely to identify as tough negotiators compared to their younger counterparts. But what’s behind this age-related boost in negotiation confidence?

Several factors likely contribute to this trend. Experience is a key player; with more years in the workforce, individuals accumulate a wealth of practical knowledge about effective negotiation tactics and likely face a variety of negotiation scenarios. This experience can build confidence and skill, making older workers feel more competent and assertive when negotiating.

Psychological factors also come into play. As people age, they often develop a clearer sense of their worth and may feel they have less to lose by being assertive. Additionally, older workers might prioritize different aspects of a negotiation, such as long-term benefits over immediate gains, shaping their approach and perceived toughness.

Understanding how age influences negotiation self-perception not only sheds light on individual confidence levels but also highlights the importance of tailoring negotiation training to accommodate the unique strengths and needs of different age groups. This approach can empower more negotiators to see themselves as tough, regardless of their age.

21. Economic conditions and inflation rates influenced the negotiation strategies of 15% of respondents

In many countries, inflation is currently affecting the cost of living. As a result, employees are finding it necessary to negotiate higher salaries in order to keep up with their daily expenses. This is why many are including inflation as a key point in their salary increase negotiations with their employers.

22. Beyond Salary: 97.4% Prioritize Job Perks and Conditions

A significant number of respondents consider secondary job conditions important, indicating evolving employee expectations. Nowadays, particularly among younger generations, achieving a healthy work-life balance is their top priority before applying for a job.

23. Remote work options became more important for 71% of respondents after COVID-19, while flexible working hours were considered at 69%

This shift reflects a growing desire for work-life balance, cost savings, and location independence. The ability to work remotely and set flexible schedules is becoming increasingly important for employees in today’s job market.

24. COVID-19 Increases Demand for Flexible Work Benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed workplace expectations. Employees are now pushing for flexible work arrangements, such as hybrid models, where they split their time between the office and remote work (often 3 days in the office and 2 days remote).

This shift is being driven by evolving employee demands, and we can expect to see a significant rise in hybrid work environments in the following years as a result.

25. Long-Term Focus: 10% Value Job Security and Career Growth Over Immediate Raises

Given the limited job opportunities and the huge pool of job seekers, many people are prioritizing job security over high pay, especially with the ongoing impact of inflation on people worldwide.

Conclusion: Here are 5 tips for your salary negotiation

  • Don’t be scared to negotiate. 67% of the people who negotiated saw an increased salary. Negotiating resulted in an 18.83% gain in salary – that’s huge!
  • Do your homework and find salary benchmarks. If you’re able to show data that proves you should be in a certain salary range, you’ll have a higher chance of succeeding.
  • Emphasize the unique value you can bring to the company. Use concrete examples to boost your credibility.
  • Build your confidence. Many people don’t negotiate because they’re afraid. Practice your negotiation pitch to feel more assured in the negotiation. In our negotiation course we’ll help you.
  • Negotiate beyond salary – if the company has strict salary regulations, consider negotiating on secondary benefits.

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About the author

My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics