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What's used vs. what's best

A recent survey of 267 human-resource professionals found that 401(k) retirement plans that include employer-provided matching funds represented the incentive most commonly offered to employees. But surveyed did not view this perk as the best tool to attract new hires, according to the survey, conducted for the Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va.

Most frequently used incentives

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For executives

*401(k) match

*Relocation assistance

*Year-end bonus

*Educational assistance

*Casual dress

Managers/professionals

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*401(k) match

*Educational assistance

*Relocation assistance

*Casual dress

*Year-end bonus

Line workers

*401(k) match

*Educational assistance

*Casual dress

*Flexible work schedule

*Year-end bonus

RecruIting incentives seen as most effective

For executives

*Domestic-partner benefits

*Option to telecommute

*Hiring bonus

*Stock options

*Housing allowances

Managers/professionals

*Flexible work schedule

*Company car

*Domestic partner benefits

*401(k) match

*Option to telecommute

Line workers

*Employment contract

*Other

*Domestic partner benefits

*Option to telecommute

*Negotiated severance packages/Flexible work schedule/Concierge or convenience services (tied)

Source: SHRM/CCH Recruiting Practices Survey

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society