Financial inducements to stay put

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Thinking of finding a new job? Have a little something to take your mind off it.

Australia's financial services skills shortage is encouraging banks to offer tasty 'buyback' packages to keep stellar performers who threaten to defect.

Anthony Ayers, principal consultant at Sydney-based Chandler, says the most common buybacks (AKA 'counter-offer') involve matching money - but adds they may also encompass anything from offering additional education, an offshore secondment, a promotion or a guaranteed bonus.

The phenomenon is liable to bump up your bank balance: "The biggest increase we have witnessed involved a stockbroking firm where a star salesperson was allocated a significant amount of equity to remain with the firm," notes Ayers. "On a couple of occasions we have seen salaries doubled."

On the flipside, a buyback can prove longer-term career suicide. John Coles, CEO of Executive Group International, points out that employees granted a buyback are not likely to survive with a current employer for long: "Normally [the employee] will drift off. Once they've made the decision to leave, the link of trust is broken."

Coles also warns that being bought back can create resentment with fellow employees: "It's much frowned upon in the industry," he says.

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