BEATING THE COUNTER OFFER Attracting top executives has become tougher than ever for businesses as the best people find they are faced with the dilemma of coping with a counter- offer as soon as they resign. Stories abound of executives being offered reward packages far in advance of their current salaries, only to find that their existing employer is then willing to counter-offer an even more attractive deal to persuade them to stay on. Kevin Gould, partner in Bristol-based Crescent HR, which advises businesses on Human Resource issues, said: “Overcoming the counter offer is becoming one of the most important aspects for businesses to consider when they are recruiting top executives. “Of course it is a great position for the employee to be in – having two potential employers competing for your services – but it is also one that requires a lot of thought and proper consideration.” With the recruitment process sometimes taking up to six months to find and recruit the right person for key positions, it is no surprise that firms are willing to fight tooth and nail to keep their best people – even if it raises costs. It also means that many of the best candidates for jobs never consider looking at the situations vacant pages and might never even consider a move, unless approached by executive search specialists. Crescent believe that this professional service goes way beyond getting to a short list of candidates for final interview. The process only really stops once the individual has been in place for three months. /Cont’d.. -2- Said Kevin Gould: “The secret of overcoming the counter-offer problem is to go to these top executives with a whole package of benefits for them to look at and to reflect their needs and lifestyle. “We have found that most people do not like to move to a job more than 50 miles away from their current home – and often it is their partner that has a major say in the move. “So, although the salary package has to be right it is often the rest of the remuneration package that will prise an executive away from their current job. “Old favourites like an impressive car and private medical insurance can make a real difference to whether people move – but there are also creative ways to overcome the counter-offer, such as signing-on benefits and “golden hellos” aimed at ensuring that the executive sees immediate gain. “Surprisingly, despite the workaholic nature of many top executives, we have found that good holiday packages and flexible working to enable them to see more of their families is becoming increasingly important. “Most people now realise that they work to live rather than live to work and they want to have time and space to spend some of the money they earn and to enjoy it with the ones they love. “This is a really important aspect that can help to win the approval of the partner and persuade someone to make the move.” Crescent HR say the cost of finding a top executive through head-hunting may not be as high as many firms think if the right techniques and packages are used from the start. /Cont’d.. -3- “People want to be valued and if they are approached by another firm for their expertise they are always flattered. But they are not going to move unless they are convinced that they and their family will benefit and have a better life. “If the counter-offer comes in it is so tempting to stay where you are and just enjoy the benefits of more money in an environment that is comfortable and familiar.” For more information of Crescent HR services visit www.crescent-hr.co.uk or call 0870 241 1385. ENDS Issued on behalf of Crescent HR by Martin Powell Communications. For further information contact Martin Powell tel 01275-394400.