Firm fights lure of the dotcom

Andersen Consulting has doubled the number of high-earning partners it employs to prevent staff being lured away by dotcom start-ups.

The move is the second part of a two-pronged strategy designed to tackle retention problems created by the dotcom revolution.

The 1,288 new partners have been promoted earlier in their careers than their predecessors were.

The first stage of the strategy saw the introduction of Andersen’s eUnits scheme. Under the scheme, some 44,000 of its highest-performing staff can earn stock in the company’s venture capital arm AC Ventures.

Both initiatives were prompted by chief executive officer Joe Forehand’s declaration last November of Andersen’s intention to win the so-called war for talent.

HR director Tim Robinson said the strategy was a response to market conditions. He said, “The issue we have been facing over the past 12 months is the dotcom phenomenon.

“Like many other companies, we saw that a lot of our best people were attracted to these organisations and we knew we had to do something about it. Having introduced these initiatives, we now feel confident that what we have done is the right approach.”

In addition to the eUnits scheme, Andersen’s has also attempted to soften the blow of losing staff to dotcoms.

Vacancies at dotcom start-ups in which it has an interest have been advertised internally. This has been done on the grounds that it is better to lose staff to these companies than others in which it has no interest.

Andersen’s has also moved to gain the competitive edge over its rivals in the graduate recruitment market.

From this month, new recruits will be paid a £10,000 “golden hello” on top of a starting salary of £28,000 (News, 5 September).

By Helen Rowe

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