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Do stock options still matter?

By John Connell ·
When that job offer sits waiting on the table, are stock options still an issue? With IT stocks suffering, I wonder if employers have lost some of the bargaining power that was once capable with options. If so, what are firms doing to offset the lackluster appeal of options? Are they actually boosting salaries!?

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Balance

by Alec Kercs? In reply to Do stock options still ma ...

The short answer to the question "Do stock options still matter" is yes, they do. The longer answer addresses <i>how</i> they matter.

We're seeing more engineers coming in and asking serious questions about the financial position of the company than we've experienced before. Based upon the answers they get, they're either trading options for salary or not -- it's a personal decision about balance for which a blanket "never do this" or "always do that" rule cannot apply.

As with any investment (and a job can be one of your biggest investments), carefully weighing the facts is important. The investor pool for jobs has gotten smarter.

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What works?

by rbooth In reply to Balance

As managers and CIOs, how do you recruit and retain talented staff now that they have become financially savvy? What do you do when they feel stock options don't matter and you don't have big bucks to throw at them?

Rose Booth
TechRepublic

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What works?

by chuy.anaya In reply to What works?

Rose: Fiancial savvy being what it is among techs, a company has to rely on showing the job seeker about what opportunities the company is offering. The days of throwing money to lure techs are mostly over. Show them your company's worth in non-fiscal terms such as career opportunities, positions becoming available. The money follows promotions. Money hungry techs are just that --- money chasers. You need goal and project oriented techs. Those are the ones that build you a good loyal customer base.

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What works is honesty

by Robert DeFazio In reply to What works?

To think that employees work because they are motivated by money reflects an incomplete understanding of human nature. Employees do have a life that goes beyond the four walls of their employer's offices. Most employers express no interest in thatother portion of their employees' lives, but that is precisely where they should direct more of their attention.

Employees work because they must support children, spouses, parents, and siblings. While some work out of greed, few do. Recruiting and keeping employees means treating them as if they have both a brain and a heart. When an employee comes to me requesting a few hours off to take care of a personal matter, my frequent response is to take the day off.

Let's face it. Executives don't make a company succeed. Numerically, there are too few of them for that to be possible. It is the average employee that makes a company work. The persons typing on a keyboard, stapling papers, lifting cartons, or pushing a broom make a company work. If they don't feel commitment from their employer, they won't be inclined to give it back.

Attracting someone to a position does not begin when the candidate is sitting in front of the interviewer. It begins with the very first contact from the company and proceeds through his first step through the door at the company's office. Does he see happy people who are already employees of the company doing their daily work? Grim faces, sharp words, sloppy dress, disrespectful conduct, and undisguised laziness are the barbed wire around the HR office that sends clear messages to prospective employees to keep out.

It is possible to fake it for a while, but ultimately what is real always comes to the surface. Unless companies can find ways to pay and befriend their employees, money will continue to be the only language spoken during the hiring process.

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A Good Business Plan

by Wayne M. In reply to What works?

Being unable to afford to pay the salaries for required professionals should only be a temporary condition seen at a start up. If you don't have a buisness plan that shows generating enough revenue to pay competitive salaries with about 2 years andmaking the stock options worth 2 - 5 times the reduced salary in about 5 years, you probably don't have a plan to make your business succeed.

As Bob Artner notes in his column on employee retention, you will limit the number of candidates when you are in this position. Many candidates will be unwilling to accept the risks of deferred compensation and there is nothing you can do to change that.

The bottom line is that if you are asking candidates to accept a significantly lower salary in the short term, you need to show them a plan that puts them financially ahead within about 5 years.

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Recruiting with Big Bucks

by Shanghai Sam In reply to What works?

First you have to dismiss the notion of big bucks as a way to recruit and retain. Even if you do have the big bucks to offer, that's not a winning strategy -- someone is always willing to offer more; if not now, then within a few months.

So what's left to offer? Consider what makes employees leave their jobs. I don't think I've ever woken up in the morning and suddenly spontaneously realized "Doggonit, I'm worth $10K more", but I have gotten up after a bad night's sleep and said "My boss is acting like a jerk," or "I really have a bad feeling about our company's future."

Dissatisfaction with salary is affected more by external factors, dissatisfaction with a job comes from internal factors. It's easier to manage the latter than the former.

So what do you do?

1. Recruit employees who are interested in contributing to your company's success.

2. Let them contribute! You hire them for their skill and knowledge -- let them apply those attributes.

3. Don't just be a boss, be a partner. Listen to your employees when they tell you what would make them more efficient, productive, or happier at work.

4. Cultivate and maintain an honest relationship with your employees. If you lose their trust, you lose it all.Alec Kercs?
SKOLAR, Inc.

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Recruiting with Big Bucks

by Alec Kercs? In reply to What works?

First you have to dismiss the notion of big bucks as a way to recruit and retain. Even if you do have the big bucks to offer, that's not a winning strategy -- someone is always willing to offer more; if not now, then within a few months.

So what's left to offer? Consider what makes employees leave their jobs. I don't think I've ever woken up in the morning and suddenly spontaneously realized "Doggonit, I'm worth $10K more", but I have gotten up after a bad night's sleep and said "My boss is acting like a jerk," or "I really have a bad feeling about our company's future."

Dissatisfaction with salary is affected more by external factors, dissatisfaction with a job comes from internal factors. It's easier to manage the latter than the former.

So what do you do?

1. Recruit employees who are interested in contributing to your company's success.

2. Let them contribute! You hire them for their skill and knowledge -- let them apply those attributes.

3. Don't just be a boss, be a partner. Listen to your employees when they tell you what would make them more efficient, productive, or happier at work.

4. Cultivate and maintain an honest relationship with your employees. If you lose their trust, you lose it all.Alec Kercs?
SKOLAR, Inc.

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Do stock options still matter?

by chuy.anaya In reply to Do stock options still ma ...

Yes. What matters most is the IT manager's ability to be ultra selective about whom is brought on-board. When I see an interviewee extremely concerned about stock options, I get worried. On the other hand when the interviewee is asking me about the available career path within my company, he/she gets my attention. These type of people go for the trophy (job progression)knowing full well the money/salary/bonus/options will follow. Everyone knows stock options are just that -- options. The best techs I have hired are those who never asked about STOCK OPTIONS. They wanted a career not a jumping board. In the several years past, I have been blessed with these people and the couple of 'young talents' were actually flashes in the pan. Two calledback after having gone to where the higher options were and I have gently said "No, we do not re-hire ex-employees". Why you ask? If the stock options begin to rise where oh where will my talented young tech go!

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