Slow Economy Is Causing Lower Expectations

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<strong>McLean, Va. &mdash; Aug. 29</strong><br />In addition to creating higher unemployment and job-loss fears among working professionals, the weakened U.S. economy is also casting a shadow on the psyches of job candidates and how aggressively they bargain for starting salaries when seeking new employment opportunities, according to a new monthly report from Jobfox.<br /><br />The &ldquo;Jobfox Most Wanted U.S. Job Candidates: August 2008&rdquo; report finds that job seekers&#39; salary expectations &mdash; across 25 of the most in-demand professions &mdash; have remained flat or have decreased during a five-month period (March through July). Of the 25 most-sought-after professions analyzed by Jobfox:<br /><br /><ul><li>None had increasing median salary range expectations among job candidates.</li><li>Sixteen of the 25 professions (64 percent) recorded flat job-seeker salary expectations.</li><li>Nine professions (36 percent) recorded decreasing salary expectations at some point during the five-month period.</li></ul><br />”It&#39;s an employer&#39;s market right when it comes to salaries,” said Jobfox CEO Rob McGovern. “Companies are concerned about budgets and corporate bottom-line challenges have rubbed off on job seekers&#39; salary negotiations.”<br /><br />In addition to feeling the pain of companies, job seekers are also forced to adjust salary requirements in light of growing employer cost-control strategies. One of those strategies is greater reliance on bonus programs and other pay-for-performance compensation models.<br /><br />”It&#39;s critical that today&#39;s job seekers feel secure about their salary negotiation skills,” McGovern warned. “Job candidates must make sure that they factor in bonuses and other benefits that make up total compensation packages.”<br /><br />Jobfox, in its report, provides salary negotiation guidelines:<br /><br /><ul><li>Know your worth by conducting salary research. Professional and industry trades are excellent resources.</li><li>While employers may not budge much on base salaries, there may be more bargaining room for bonuses, tuition assistance, flexible schedules, cell phone expenses, vacation time, health and wellness benefits and other meaningful perks.</li><li>Delay the discussion of specific salary requirements until a formal offer is made. Job candidates usually have greater salary bargaining power at the offer stage, when companies risk having to begin the hiring process anew.</li><li>If asked about salary needs early in the hiring process, provide a broad range. Most recruiters are not trying to trap candidates into taking lower-than-deserved salaries. Recruiters just want to make sure that further interviews are worth pursuing.</li><li>Never accept a job offer on the spot. It takes time to evaluate the whole compensation package. Recruiters expect that it may take you a day or two &mdash; but no more &mdash; to get back to them.</li><li>Never lie about your current salary. Recruiters can easily discover salary records via background checks. Falsifying salary information may also be grounds for termination.</li></ul><br />”Performing poorly at the salary-negotiation stage of a job search creates a number of long-term consequences since things like future bonuses, merit-pay increases, and even future salary negotiations are often calculated as a percentage of current salary,” McGovern said. “Once you get behind in base salary, it&#39;s hard to catch up.”<br />

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