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February 07, 2008
Value of Benefits Spikes Sharply for CFOs, Rivals Pay
Money still speaks the loudest when it comes to attracting job candidates, but the importance of having a good benefits package has risen markedly according to a new survey conducted among chief financial officers (CFOs).

In the survey, CFOs were asked what incentives were most effective in attracting candidates. The incentive cited most--by 37% of respondents--was "higher salaries than competitors" while 33% responded that "benefits packages/insurance" was the most effective incentive. But what's equally noteworthy is that when CFOs were asked this same question in 2003, just 2% of respondents believed that benefits packages were the most effective incentive--reflecting a 31% spike in 5 years.

Conversely, in 2003 one-third (33%) of CFOs believed that "Telecommuting and/or flexible work schedules" were the most effective incentive for job candidates but only 13% believed this to be true in the 2008 survey. The results, according to the survey, suggest that traditional incentives are a higher priority today than they were 5 years ago. The survey was developed by Robert Half International, a staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance, and conducted among 1,400 CFOs by an independent research firm.

"Companies that do not provide comprehensive employment packages, including competitive compensation and insurance programs, risk losing top job candidates to other opportunities," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half, in a press release. "Whether it's higher salaries and enhanced healthcare coverage or accelerated career-advancement opportunities, employers should determine and effectively communicate what makes their company a great place to work when speaking with prospective employees."

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