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Employers, Get Ready To Negotiate: Salary, Flexibility Demands Increase

New surveys find workers are increasingly more assertive about demanding higher pay.

Just as many return-to-office plans were dashed with the delta variant surge, many companies that felt the workplace, and workforce, were returning to normal have been surprised this fall. New surveys and studies suggest more-empowered workers continue to demand more from their employers, especially when it comes to salary negotiations.

A national survey of 800-plus recruiters by Jobvite, a recruiting software platform, found that the past year has seen significant increases in salary negotiations, and consequently, wage increases. Since 2020, 73% of recruiters report a modest increase in negotiating for higher salaries, up more than 20%, and 48% of recruiters report average salaries in their industry have increased by more than 10%. 

Other workplace surveys suggest working remotely and flexible schedules are increasingly becoming more standard and accepted. According to a just-released Organizational Wellbeing report by the global consulting firm Gallagher, 49% of employers provide their staff with the ability to telecommute and 54% allow for a flexible work schedule. While recent months have seen many firms push pay localization plans, which would reduce the salaries for remote workers who relocated during the coronavirus pandemic, a new article by HR Dive looks at how software firm Isolved has instead pushed pay portability, in part in response to added pressure to retain workers in a challenging labor market. 

These policy shifts may not yet be enough; 32% of employers taking part in the Gallagher survey said they have workers who were forced to leave the workforce altogether to care for a loved one.