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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Compensation key even in employer's market

Paying more than competitors is still the best way to attract top talent, according to 46% of chief financial officers polled recently. But while salary may be the leading motivator, non-monetary perks can be just as effective.

More than one-quarter (28%) of survey respondents said flexible hours and telecommuting options carry the most appeal with prospective employees, ahead of higher compensation.

The survey was developed by Robert Half International Inc., the world's first and largest staffing service specializing in the accounting, finance and information technology fields. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with more than 20 employees.

CFOs were asked, "In your opinion, which one of the following incentives is most effective in attracting top accounting candidates?"

Their responses:
  • Offering higher starting salaries than competitors 46%
  • Allowing telecommuting and/or flexible work schedules 28
  • Offering extra vacation days 11
  • Offering signing bonuses ..7
  • Benefits/benefit package/insurance 1
  • Other 1
  • Don't know/no answer 6
  • 100%

    "Top performers are in demand in any economic environment," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc. and author of Motivating Employees For Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc.). "Companies that do not pay competitively risk losing their best people when business conditions improve, resulting in increased hiring and training costs, and lost productivity.

    "Managers with limited budgets can augment compensation with non-cash incentives to attract and retain qualified professionals," Messmer said.

    "Options that allow employees greater control over their work schedules hold appeal for those balancing career and family demands."

    Trevor Zigelstein, Robert Half finance and accounting regional manager, added, "Companies have been hiring more cautiously in the current business climate.

    However, as the economy recovers, they will need to re-examine recruitment strategies to ensure they can attract and retain key talent."

    -- CNW

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