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Gen Z and Millennials Take More Risks in Salary Negotiations Than Older Colleagues

The Randstad 2020 U.S. Compensation Insights survey and Salary Guide provide employers with the tools they need to review compensation offerings

Published on January 28, 2020

Randstad US today announced the findings from the Randstad 2020 U.S. Compensation Insights survey, which explored the sentiments of American workers on salary negotiations and how fairly they believe they’re paid. The results showed Gen Z and millennials are much bolder in their approach to salary negotiations than their older colleagues. In fact, nearly 60 percent report they have leveraged a potential job offer as a negotiation tactic for a higher salary at their current companies — a stark contrast to just 48 percent of Gen X and 29 percent of boomers.

“We’re seeing a few shifts in the way workers think about compensation. While salary has always been top of mind, today people are getting increasingly more strategic and assertive in their approach to climbing the pay scale — especially younger generations,” said Jim Link, chief human resources officer, Randstad North America. “This reality, coupled with a tight job market, requires employers to be more aware of their compensation offerings in order to stay competitive. The first step for employers is to determine where they stand in comparison to industry salary standards. There are a number of resources available to do this, including our recently released Randstad US 2020 Salary Guide.”

The Compensation Insights survey also found younger generations are more likely to be unpredictable in their actions after accepting job offers, with 50 percent of Gen Z and millennials admitting to “ghosting” an employer for a higher paying job opportunity elsewhere.

Other insights from the survey include:

Compensation remains a key factor in employee retention, especially for younger generations

  • Seventy-four percent of millennials expect a pay raise every year in order to stay at their companies, versus 62 percent of boomers and 66 percent overall.
  • Forty percent say they’ve only ever received a raise if they’ve asked for one, but this number is higher among younger employees (55 percent of Gen Z and 59 percent of millennials) than older ones (26 percent of boomers).
  • Seventy-six percent overall say their compensation is sufficient to make them stay in their current role for the next 12 months.

All employees (despite age) desire greater pay transparency

  • Fifty-five percent say their companies do not publish pay information for each role, and 60 percent say they wish their employers would make that information available across the company.
  • Fifty-four percent say they aren’t clear on how pay increases or bonuses are calculated at their company.

There is still room for improvement in achieving gender pay equality

  • Fifty-one percent of women report they’re considering leaving their jobs because they believe they’re underpaid.
  • Sixty percent of women have never negotiated their pay, compared to just 48 percent of men.
  • Seventy-two percent of women versus 59 percent of men say they would make a lateral move to a different company just to receive a salary jump they wouldn’t get if they stayed at their current company.

For more information, visit the 2020 U.S. Compensation Insights survey and the Randstad US 2020 Salary Guide.

Randstad 2020 U.S. Compensation Insights Survey Methodology

Research findings are based on an OmniPulse survey fielded by national polling firm Dynata on behalf of Randstad US. The survey was fielded from August 26 to September 2, 2019. It included 1,213 employed people between the ages of 18 and 65+ and a nationally representative sample balanced on age, education, gender, and region.

Randstad US 2020 Salary Guide Methodology

Every year, Randstad US publishes its Salary Guide highlighting nationwide compensation information and key rates for the most in-demand positions throughout the industries Randstad serves. The salary information provided is a combination of Randstad’s proprietary intel, paired with data and insights from the Economic Research Institute (ERI), Gartner TalentNeuron™ and other trusted third-party sources.

Data reflected for each industry is organized by job title and level.* For executive positions (director and above), salaries are listed by company size as determined by revenue. For all other positions, compensation is determined by average years of experience across three different professional levels. Because every organization structures its departments and job titles differently, the categories, roles, and functions presented here may not be an exact match to those within your organization.

For an in-depth look at key positions within your local hiring market, contact a Randstad representative in your area.

*The compensation data presented in the Randstad US 2020 Salary Guide is based on average wages at the time of publication and may not reflect recent changes in wage laws. Consult your municipal and state wage laws to ensure your compensation offerings are compliant.

SOURCE Randstad US
Associate Writer