Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, 89 percent of U.S. employers are open to negotiating salary for either some or all positions once a job offer has been made, according to XpertHR’s 2021 Recruiting and Hiring Survey. More specifically, 36 percent of employers are willing to negotiate pay for all positions, while 53 percent are open to negotiating pay for only certain positions.
But for employees who keep their positions rather than seeking new work, they’ve become less comfortable asking for a raise or promotion since the pandemic hit, according to an Indeed survey of 2,000 U.S. workers.
Before the pandemic, 81 percent of men and 66 percent of women said they felt comfortable or somewhat comfortable asking for a raise at their current job; now, however, 74 percent of men and 58 percent of women feel that way — declines of 8.6 percent and 12.1 percent respectively.
The same goes for asking for a promotion, according to the survey. Pre-COVID, 82 percent of men felt comfortable requesting a promotion versus 70 percent of women — numbers that are now down 4.5 percent for men and 8.5 percent for women.
The survey indicates that while “the differing levels of ease men and women feel about asking for a raise or promotion existed before COVID-19 … the gap has widened during the pandemic.” Furthermore, according to the study, “[e]ven when controlling for industry, gender still plays a significant role in the comfort level workers report with asking for a raise or promotion.”
There is, however, a bit of an upside — women are more comfortable requesting flexibility on work location, schedule and hours. In fact, the survey found that 80.1 percent of women felt comfortable asking for work location flexibility, up from 72.6 percent before COVID-19 — a 7.5 percent increase. Men, however, “showed less than 2 percent increases in comfort with asking for flexibility on location or schedule, and actually became slightly less comfortable asking for flexibility in total hours of work.”
While women feel more comfortable requesting increased flexibility, likely due to both shelter-in-place orders and parents needing to balance their work with school and daycare closures, the hope is that the gap between men’s and women’s comfort level in requesting raises and promotions shrinks as the economy continues to reopen.
Jessica Mulholland, Managing Editor, CalChamber