Firms raise pay to draw e-business skills

Nine out of 10 large companies struggle to recruit e-business staff,
according to a survey by HR consultancy William M Mercer.

Project management, e-marketing and technical support roles are hard to
fill, and there is a shortage of candidates with both technical and
client-handling skills.

The survey, E-business Compensation Survey 2001, shows that two-thirds of
the companies surveyed had increased their salary range to avoid recruitment
problems. Furthermore, 87 per cent use contract staff and 62 per cent recruit
from overseas, particularly from India and Europe.

The median pay rate for a top e-business executive is £116,300, with e-sales
managers on £63,000.

Mark Edelstein, European partner at Mercer, said, "For staff with
marketing and management skills, we are now seeing e-business compete with
their own parent companies. The problem is that those companies can offer
greater job security and affordability."

The survey included 23 organisations, the majority of which were
subsidiaries of large companies operating in the financial services and
high-tech sectors.

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