An investigation of the perceptions, expectations, and behaviors of library employers on job negotiations as both employers and as job seekers

Jason Reed, Kansas State University
Leo Lo, University of Alabama

Concurrent session 23
Thursday 1 September 2016, 1:30pm - 1:55pm




A literature review reveals articles encouraging applicants to negotiate and tips on how to negotiated, but no comprehensive study on the prevalence of librarian negotiations and if different demographic groups are more likely to engage in negotiation. Only when broadening the search to other fields can researchers investigate how different demographic groups engage in negotiation. This research fills a gap in the library literature and compares the results to similar studies in other disciplines.

The research question of this study was to investigate the perceptions, expectations, and behaviors of library employers on job negotiations as both employers and as job seekers. In addition to demographic data, including gender, age, position, and type of library respondents work in, the survey also collected data on respondents’ reasoning of why they did or did not withdraw an job offer, their level of comfort in negotiating, and how much flexibility they believe there was for negotiating job offers. The research question was addressed through quantitative analyses of responses to multiplechoice, and qualitative analyses of responses to openended questions.

Out of 462 total respondents, 403 completed the survey. The high response rate combined with the research scope result in one of the most comprehensive studies on this topic. 130 respondents (29%) were in a position to handle one of more job offer negotiation as an employer in the last five years. The majority of the employers have never withdrawn a job offer because of an unsuccessful negotiation with the job candidate (71%, n=77) . 13% (n=14) have only withdrawn job offer once; while 17% (n=19) have withdrawn job offers more than once. More respondents who have had job negotiation(s) as employers felt more comfortable with the negotiation process, and fewer of them felt very uncomfortable. Chisquare statistical analysis shows that there is a statistically significant relationship ( X 2 (4, N= 405) = 0.00, p = .05) between whether the respondent has handled one or more job offer negotiation(s) as an employer in the last 5 years and how they rate their level of comfort with the negotiation process. Data indicate that there are differences in the perception of job offer flexibility from the employer’s perspective and from the job seeker’s perspective, from the same population. As EMPLOYERS, respondents who currently hold dean level positions (n=55), 32.73% (n = 18) believed that there is “a lot of flexibility” for negotiating; 45.45% (n=25) thought that there is “some flexibility” for dean level positions. As job seekers (n=44), the percentage of respondents (who have negotiated job offers as employers and who currently hold dean level positions) who selected “a lot of flexibility” dropped from 32.73% to 11.36% (n=5), while the percentage of respondents who believed there was “some flexibility” increased from 45.45% to 63.64% (n=28).

Paper - Now available.

Presentation - Now available.


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