Counteroffers on the rise as war for talent heats up

Finance leaders compete fiercely for the best staff

Finance professionals who plan to move jobs are increasingly being tempted with counter-offers by their existing employers to encourage them to stay put.

Research by recruiter Robert Half UK found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of finance leaders have witnessed an increase in counter-offers over the past 12 months when they have been trying to hire new staff.

Indeed, such is the level of competition for the best candidates that well over half of finance leaders (64%) are more likely to offer a sign-on bonus to attract the best people than they were last year.

With hiring returning to pre-recessionary levels, the best candidates frequently receive multiple offers and counter-offers when they look to move jobs.

But Robert Half UK argues that although counter-offers can be a strong bargaining tool for job seekers, “they are not an effective long-term strategy to retain staff” since they do not necessarily address underlying issues of discontent.

Phil Sheridan, UK managing director of Robert Half, said: “In order to keep their best employees, companies need to ensure they are paying competitively with an appropriate salary and bonus structure.”

He added: “Companies will also do well to focus on initiatives that support work-life balance, such as remote and flexible working, as they become increasingly important to employees. While counter-offers may appear to work in the short term, employers must address the underlying issues in order to retain top performers. If not, it is likely that the employee will leave, albeit in a more prolonged way and with a higher salary.”

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