Counter Intuitive Offers

It's a common event in an economy with record low unemployment: A key worker says she's bolting to a higher-paying job. Should you offer a raise--or nothing more than adios? In last year's Robert Half International Inc. survey of 1,400 CFOs, 42% said their companies refrain from counteroffers, while 56% said they make them under certain conditions. Which way is best? It depends, says Shari Carter, of Oakland (Calif.) compensation firm CompAnalysis. First, make sure your employees aren't chronically underpaid. ( and post salary rates.) Then think about what they really want. If it's career growth or responsibility--which a lot of small companies can't offer--it might be best to say so long. "They'll be gone in a few months anyway," says Carter.

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