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How to Hang on to Top Talent

A new survey says a third of companies will consider raises, while others may offer flexible working hours or bonuses.

It's Google that made the headlines for giving its staff at least a 10 percent raise, but it's not the only company hoping to hang on to its employees by showing them the money. 

A new CareerBuilder online survey of 2,457 hiring managers across the U.S. showed just under half of them (43 percent) feared good employees might find new jobs once the economy picks up. So about a third (31 percent) of respondents said they'd be open to discussing raises in 2011 with current employees – and half said new employees don't need to settle for the first offer.

The sector most willing to part with cash to keep valuable talent: Information technology, where nearly half (45 percent) of IT managers said raises were a possibility next year. In the professional and business service sector, 41 percent of respondents were willing to talk more money with current employees, followed by 39 percent of retail managers.

"While it is undoubtedly an employer's market, many recognize the added responsibility workers have had to shoulder without the added pay. While we don't expect salary levels to change significantly, the willingness to negotiate better deals with current and potential employees is a positive indicator for the employment recovery," Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder's vice president of human resources, said in a statement.

Employers who can't give raises are, of course, still hoping to keep their employees happy. Of those surveyed, 42 percent said they were prepared to offer more flexible work hours, and 29 percent would consider bonuses. Other perks they'd consider: 23 percent would pay for training, 21 percent would up employees' vacation time, and 17 percent would loosen dress codes. Just 14 percent said they'd offer academic reimbursement or a title change.

Will you consider raises in 2011? What would you offer employees instead?

IMAGE: Roy Hsu/Getty
Last updated: Nov 11, 2010


Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.

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