According to a majority of hiring managers and recruiters, more than half of tech professionals accept the first offer without negotiating either starting salaries or hourly rates, a report from Web-based IT job specialist Dice found.
The plurality of respondents tagged 5 percent as the average bump tech professionals receive from the initial offer when they negotiate. To put that in context, the national average salary for technology professionals is currently $85,619, which means in year one, not haggling costs tech pros $4,300 on average. The report also noted performance pay, such as bonuses, is usually rewarded as a percentage of salaries and the compounding effects over a long career.
Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents said they only occasionally raise their offers when a technology candidate does not take the initial salary or hourly rate offered. Just 6 percent of the 838 hiring managers and recruiters surveyed said they do so very frequently, slightly more than a quarter (27 percent) said they do so frequently, and 11 percent said they only do so rarely.
"The only explanation for the lack of haggling is fear. When fear creeps into a negotiation or stops it all together, it's good to remember negotiation is simply a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement," Tom Silver, senior vice president of Dice, wrote in a company blog post. "Straight-talk meetings are a standard in tech departments, there's no reason tech professionals can't do that with job offers. The company has tapped the talent, but the employer is not tapped out—ask for more."
The report also listed the number of available tech jobs in the United States as of April 1, which stood at 83,610 open positions. Nearly 50,000 of these available jobs were full-time positions, while 36,712 were contract-based offerings, 1,847 were part-time positions, and 580 were telecommuting offers.
The New York metro area led the nation for open technology jobs, with 8,511, followed by the D.C./Baltimore metro area with 7,073. Silicon Valley ranked third with 5,240 open positions, followed by Chicago (3,784), with Los Angeles rounding out the top five with 3,301 open positions. Boston placed sixth with 3,190 tech jobs, besting Atlanta, which offered IT pros 3,120 job opportunities. Dallas, with 3,030 positions, ranked eighth, while Philadelphia, with 2,495 open jobs, and Seattle, with 2,386 IT positions, rounded out the top 10.
In the overall IT jobs sector, more tech jobs have been created in the three and a half years since the end of the Great Recession than under the same recovery timelines in either 1991 or 2001, according to a Dice report in January. The report found that the unemployment rate for tech professionals steadied in the fourth quarter at 3.3 percent, less than half the national average, which improved to average 7.8 percent in the quarter. In comparison, the IT sector unemployment rate stood at 4.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012.