Desired Salary Expectations Of U.S. Job Seekers Outpace Companies Willingness To Offer

Heading into 2017, Opportunity looks inward to examine the trends surrounding job seeker salary expectations versus the reality of what hiring managers are willing to offer.


‘Tis the season for thinking about one’s career and economic future. So, as we head into 2017, Opportunity wanted to take a look at salary expectations both sought and offered by job seekers and hiring managers across the United States, respectively.  Tapping into our database of over 1.3M members worldwide, we examined a random subset of 20,000 members in the U.S. (across all regions and industries) who recently indicated a preferred salary range.

What We Found

At a national level, job seekers not surprisingly wanted higher salaries than what hiring managers on average indicated they were willing to offer across the various ranges (1) reviewed by Opportunity.

Overall, hiring managers were more likely to indicate an interest in locating resources lower on the pay scale, whereas job seekers demonstrated a greater interest in locating positions that offered higher salaries. For instance, over 50% of hiring managers were looking to fill positions ranging in salaries between the $25-40k and $40-75k ranges. Conversely, just over 32% of job seekers desired salaries within these ranges.

The greatest disparity between hiring managers and job seekers occurred within the $25-40k range, where over 17% of hiring managers looked to hire at this salary compared to 5% of job seekers desiring a salary in this range.

Once salary ranges exceeded the $75k threshold, job seeker salary expectations began to outstrip hiring manager offerings. Almost 50% of job seekers desired a salary between $75-150k, whereas 42% of hiring managers offered such as salary. The discrepancy between job seekers and hiring managers increases as salary demands increase, as over 18% of job seekers desired a salary greater than $150k, whereas less than 6% of hiring managers were filling such positions.


In conclusion, this snapshot from Opportunity suggests hiring managers and job seekers are somewhat out of phase when it comes to salary expectations at a national level. Hiring managers are much more likely to fill positions with salaries between $25-75K, with a significant discrepancy when compared to job seekers at the lower end of this range. In contrast, job seekers are more likely than their hiring manager counterparts to desire salaries beyond $75k. It is the threshold of $75k that appears to be the inflection point where hiring manager and job seeker expectations shift at a national level.

Up Next:  A further breakdown of salary expectations for job seekers (and hiring managers) globally, regionally and per industry.

Datasource: Opportunity

Opportunity shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described or information contained on these pages. The data, information and related graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such. Opportunity gives no warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, utility or completeness of this information.