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UK – Counteroffers are becoming a growing trend as employers fear losing their top players

14 February 2012

In today’s rather stagnant job market, almost a quarter (23%) of executives have reported an increase in counteroffers over the past six months while 40% of executives are concerned that counteroffers will impact salary structure, this is according to latest research published by Robert Half International. Hence the recruitment firm advises employers to take “pre-emptive measures” to ensure top performers are rewarded and not lured into other jobs that easily. 

Nearly three in four (72%) senior HR executives express concern over losing top performers in 2012, something which has significantly contributed to the increased use of counteroffers. As it is becoming more common for organisations to issue counteroffers to employees tempted by other jobs, companies are focusing their attention on keeping high performance professionals on board to boost business growth. 

The survey, which quizzed 200 senior human resources executives about their hiring plans for the first half of 2012 found that only three in 10 (31%) employers say it is at least somewhat common for employees to accept a counteroffer. This leaves more than half (53%) who indicate it is uncommon and 16% who are unsure despite the growing prevalence of counteroffers.

“Some organisations have been challenged in remaining competitive amidst static remuneration increases and as such, run the risk of losing top talent to other organisations. In order to keep their best employees, companies need to ensure that they are paying competitively with an appropriate salary and bonus structure,” said Managing Director of Robert Half UK, Phil Sheridan.

He advises companies to consider introducing a comprehensive benefits plan to, not only encourage business-critical professionals to stay, but also present the company as an attractive place to work to potential candidates. When asked what rewards and employee benefits they plan to offer as an effort to attract and retain employees, the top responses were pension contribution (39%), flexible work hours or telecommuting (38%), health care or life benefits (30%), additional bonuses or pay (29%), a mobile/laptop (27%) and subsidised training/education (27%).

“Top performers who feel they’ve made concessions during the recession will expect to be rewarded for their loyalty.  Employers should therefore conduct regular salary reviews with all employees, even if increases are modest or deferred.  Regular dialogue with employees on a monthly or quarterly basis is vital to ensure that they remain satisfied with their role and career progression with the company,” Mr Sheridan added.

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