Recruiters: Cash-Strapped Employers Engage Deferred Compensation, Perks to Retain Top Executive Talent

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Executive recruiters reveal to ExecuNet the non-cash compensation levers their corporate clients are engaging to retain top executive talent when they are unable to pay the most competitive salaries.

“Executives who were wise enough to negotiate deferred compensation and perks in addition to their base salary and annual bonus potential before they first joined an employer are likely the most common beneficiaries of these corporate retention practices.

Cash-strapped employers are engaging a variety of deferred compensation levers and perks to retain top management talent as some business leaders explore the potential of a career move, according to a survey of executive recruiters by ExecuNet, the leading executive network solely for senior-level executives. The results of ExecuNet’s 20th annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report revealed that 79 percent of employers are expected to work harder to retain top management talent in 2012.

“Executive recruiters see many smaller companies and those with far smaller cash reserves opting to focus their retention efforts on deferred compensation and perks to buy them some time with high-performers who may already be networking or exploring the market for their next career move,” Anderson added.

In April, ExecuNet polled 167 executive recruiters about the non-cash compensation levers their corporate clients are engaging to retain top executive talent when they are unable to pay the most competitive salaries.

“In today’s business environment, if you’re not Apple or Google or a corporate giant with lots of cash to go around, you’re probably left to retain top management talent through non-cash means,” said President and Chief Economist of ExecuNet Mark M. Anderson.

The leading survey results are as follows:

Top Non-Cash Compensation Levers Used to Retain Top Executive Talent
1. Stock options
2. Profit sharing or pension
3. Company car and vehicle allowance
4. Additional vacation time
5. Early review/promotion opportunity (tie)
5. Higher title (tie)
Source: http://www.ExecuNet.com

“Executives who were wise enough to negotiate deferred compensation and perks in addition to their base salary and annual bonus potential before they first joined an employer are likely the most common beneficiaries of these corporate retention practices,” said Don Weintraub, who in his role as managing director of performance improvement and career services with ExecuNet, advises executives on how to negotiate their employment and pay packages.

“But those leaders who’ve grown up inside a company also have some leverage. They might ask for non-cash benefits based on superior performance, the successful completion of an important business project, or as part of their annual review process,” Weintraub added.

About ExecuNet
Since 1988, ExecuNet has helped business leaders shape positive change to achieve what’s next in their individual lives. From its beginnings as a small gathering of executives in Connecticut, ExecuNet has evolved into a private network of over 250,000 senior-level executive members with a belief in the transformative potential of trusted insight, real connections and personal introductions to help them find meaningful new work, advance in their careers, better manage the growth of their businesses, and become high-value leaders. A recognized authority in executive employment, retention and recruitment, as well as human capital trends, ExecuNet keeps its members informed about what’s important to them in business and their careers.

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Mark M. Anderson, President & Chief Economist
ExecuNet
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