Today’s job seekers are confident in their bargaining power, suggests new research from global staffing firm Robert Half. More than half of professionals surveyed (55 percent) tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last employment offer, a 16-point jump from a similar survey in 2018.

“With unemployment rates at all-time lows, workers have the upper hand nowadays, said Molly Gardner, Director of Permanent Placement Services for Robert Half in Kansas City. “Job seekers realize that if one company isn’t offering them what they feel like they deserve and what they want, another company will be.”

What to ask for is dependent on a candidate’s individual situation.

“It really depends on where the candidate is in their career,” said Gardner. “It depends on what their skill set is. Are they more specialized or are they more of a generalist? There are so many different factors that can go into negotiating a salary that candidates and companies need to take into account.”

Seventy percent of managers don’t expect candidates to accept the initial salary offer, but if you’re negotiating, know your stuff.

“They want to make it quantitative,” said Gardner. “If you’re going to go in and ask for a certain salary and really begin that negotiation, you really can’t show up unprepared. You need to have a good understanding of salary trends and review resources, like our Robert Half salary guide or talk to an experienced recruiter, that can really give you the information that you need in the market to go well-prepared to that company.”

Sixty-eight percent of male employees tried to negotiate pay, versus 45 percent of women.