Executives Being Offered 'Golden Rings,' Survey Says

It used to be that companies enticed executive recruits with a golden parachute severance pay package -- in the event the executive was later booted out the door. But now there's even more gold for executives. Companies are guaranteeing stock options, sign-on bonuses, and performance-linked bonuses to executives in an effort to entice them to remain on the job. "Today's hot job market has turned the golden parachute into the golden ring for executives," says Dave Opton, executive director of Exec-U-Net, a Norwalk, Conn.-based online job and career information network for senior level executives. Its recent survey of executive search firms found that 34% of search firm clients offer a severance package equal to at least eight months pay; 40% offer sign-on bonuses; 45%, stock options; 72%, performance bonuses; and 34% guarantee first-year performance bonuses.

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