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Study shows CFOs divided on issue of counter offers

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A recent survey of chief financial officers by Robert Half International Inc. indicates that CFOs are divided on the issue of making counter offers to retain staff, according to a press release from Robert Half.

In the survey, 56 percent of CFOs said they would likely use counter offers to persuade good employees to stay, while a significant 42 percent would refrain from counter offers, the release said.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies with more than 20 employees.

"Counter offers for top-performing employees have become more common in recent years, as unemployment rates remain at record low levels and staff retention continues to be a key issue," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of "The Fast Forward MBA in Hiring."

He added, "While a manager's immediate reaction might be to persuade an employee to stay, he or she should first uncover all the contributing factors that led the individual to explore other opportunities and then take a hard look at whether these problems can be resolved."

Many firms, Messmer stated, "are taking a cautious approach to counter offers to avoid challenges to their compensation scale when other staff learn of the agreement and question their own salaries. Additionally, some managers may have lingering concerns about an employee's loyalty after a counter offer is accepted."

Robert Half International Inc. is a worldwide staffing service specializing in the accounting, finance and information technology fields.

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