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Employees In Driver's Seat In Improving Economy, Says Wilton Search Firm

Vision Search Partners, from front, Pio Imperati, Richard Champagne, William Bardani and Matthew McMahon. The Wilton-based search firm has noticed that the economy has improved and job candidates are getting better offers.
Vision Search Partners, from front, Pio Imperati, Richard Champagne, William Bardani and Matthew McMahon. The Wilton-based search firm has noticed that the economy has improved and job candidates are getting better offers. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

WILTON, Conn. -- Employees are seeing the benefits of an increasingly strong economy and are getting counter-offers from companies that don't want to lose them, said the four partners in a Wilton-based search company.

Vision Search Partners specializes in hunting for qualified employees primarily in the finance and accounting fields. But the firm has also broadened its search to include information technology and human resources professionals. And the firm's four partners said they have noticed a significant strengthening of an employee's bargaining position as the economy improves.

Matthew McMahon, one of the four partners, said the job growth seen on the national, or macro level, is reflected at the local level.

"We've seen a lot of micro indicators as well in our experience in that counter-offers are now quite commonplace as well as competing offers," McMahon said.

The other three partners are William Bardani, Pio Imperati and Richard Champagne. Collectively, they have about 75 years of experience in the employee search field. They generally concentrate on the New York and Connecticut areas, although they will go farther afield for their clients if needed.

In this improving economy, McMahon said companies are increasingly concerned about retaining and attracting employees and often will entice employees with a counter-offer.

"Their company says 'Wait don't leave, here's a check.' I would go four or five years without seeing that because conventional wisdom generally said that doesn't work," McMahon said.

"But companies are having so much trouble finding the right employees right now that they are pulling out the checkbook."

The change in practice has resulted in valuable employees having multiple options compared with even a few years ago, Champagne said.

"It has gone from a company-driven market to a candidate-driven market," Champagne said. "We have seen salaries that have been flat since 2008, whereas now they are starting to rise again. In the last six months, you have noticed the turnaround."

Signing bonuses are also popping up more and more, the partners said, as companies sweeten their offers to entice employees to join them.

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