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The market for talent has been robust (to say the least) over the past two years and, as the heat has increased, employers’ strategies to retain key players have kept pace.  Conventional wisdom for employees was always, “Don’t consider a counter offer” because if you did, you’d eventually pay the price for your lapse in loyalty and get the boot.  However, today this way of thinking may not be quite as clear-cut as it was historically.  We have witnessed a sea change in employers’ attitudes and how aggressively they handle the threat of resignations.  For the A-players, salary grids are thrown out the window; current employers ante-up more equity and map out an expanded role with greater financial reward to keep top employees firmly planted in their chairs.  Employers realize they must be aggressive in retention or they will be forced back into the open market.  Meanwhile, some employees, we have found will take the bait, leaving a fully negotiated counter offer on the table, despite the  concern that their decision may indeed backfire and come back to haunt them when the markets turn again. 

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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