Thirty-eight percent of executives are more willing to negotiate salary with top candidates than they were just one year ago, according to a new survey by Robert Half, a specialized staffing firm headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif.

"Job seekers, especially those with skills in high demand, are gaining leverage in salary discussions today," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "Still, there are many things that can go wrong when negotiating pay, and candidates should approach these discussions with a clear understanding of how far they should take the conversation."

During the salary negotiation process, Robert Half recommends job seekers do some research to find out if the employer is in the position to bargain. If so, job seekers should research salary trends for the respective city, industry and job title. Job seekers should first wait for the hiring manager to discuss salary and fully comprehend the position's requirements of the position before answering questions about desired pay.

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