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February 03, 2003
CFOs: Compensation, Flex Schedule Are Important
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>Paying more than competitors is still the best way to attract top talent, according to 46 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled recently. But while salary may be the leading motivator, non-monetary perks can be just as effective. One in three survey respondents said flexible hours and telecommuting options carry the most appeal with prospective employees, ahead of higher compensation.

Robert Half International Inc., a staffing service specializing in the accounting, finance and information technology fields, developed the survey. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. 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 percent)
  • Allowing telecommuting and/or flexible work schedules (33 percent)
  • Offering signing bonuses (5 percent)
  • Offering extra vacation days (3 percent)
  • Benefits/benefit package/insurance(2 percent)

"Top performers are in demand in any economic environment," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International 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 says. "Options that allow employees greater control over their work schedules hold appeal for those balancing career and family demands."
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