Top consultancy firms say they have no plans to match the £10,000 golden handshake Andersen Consulting is offering graduate recruits.
Andersen has raised the stakes in an already fiercely competitive graduate recruitment market by announcing the bonus for new analysts starting in September on top of a £28,000 salary.
But HR professionals at rivals Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche Consulting, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, said they do not expect such sizeable payments to become the norm, even for the cream of graduates.
Denise Collis, HR partner at Ernst & Young, said research showed fewer than one in 10 graduates regard a lump sum on joining their new employer as one of their top three priorities.
CBI director of HR policy, Susan Anderson, is equally sceptical. “I do not see this spreading to other companies,” she said.
KPMG and Ernst & Young each offer introductory bonuses of £3,000 and £1,000 respectively, while PricewaterhouseCoopers offers a “settling in” payment of £1,000. All three ruled out any possibility of following Andersen’s lead.
Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, said he failed to see the need to pay graduates such large lump sums.
He said, “Companies could perhaps consider widening their recruitment strategy and try other methods.
“They could try getting candidates from other institutions – and they don’t just have to get people who are 21 years of age.
Andersen’s new recruits will receive £10,000 in two instalments which must be paid back on a pro rata basis if they leave within two years.
- An Engineering Employers’ Federation survey shows that the average starting salary for graduates in engineering and manufacturing firms is £16, 753.
By Richard Staines