Our Legal Recruitment specialist, Cam d’Espagnac, shares her thoughts on what you should think through before you say yes to a counter-offer.
As Recruiters, we speak to many people; those actively looking to move on in their careers, but mainly, we speak to candidates who are not “actively” seeking a new role but are open to a chat, weighing up their options and seeing what’s out there.
Often, firms will seek a candidate that has everything and more. A “unicorn candidate” as it is sometimes known - a positive attitude, loyal, high-performing, and productive and as such are willing to pay big salaries for the perfect candidate. We’ve noticed lots of big salary uplifts happening recently, particularly in the legal market. But is a pay rise the reason why you’re looking? Or are there other factors?
Let’s look at some of the other reasons candidates consider making a move…
Limited career progression or exposure at work
Feeling undervalued (financially and /or emotionally)
High expectations (billing targets, working hours, etc.)
Lack of flexibility/need for more flexibility
Boredom within your role
Culture in the firm
Fast forward >>>
You’ve decided to look for other opportunities, you've sent your CV, you've applied for jobs, you've been shortlisted and secured that all-important interview… Fantastic, you are feeling a mix of things (anxious, excited) but have worked hard to get this far in the process.
You interview. They love you and you have been offered the job. You are over the moon!
You now prepare yourself for “that” conversation with your current manager to hand in your resignation.
He/she is disappointed and a little shocked, this has thrown a curve ball and they don’t want to lose you, so they make you a counter-offer. This could come in the form of:
a pay rise
promises of change
a change in job title
So, do you turn down your job offer and stay at your current firm?
Well, that’s a personal decision and a decision only you can make, but before you do, it’s worth knowing that there is a reason why a very high percentage of people who accept a counter-offer are back on the job market within 6 months, and statistics show that 4 out of 5 leave their company within 12 months!
Here are the 7 reasons why maybe you shouldn’t accept that counter-offer:
Great! You’re earning more than you were yesterday. But before you celebrate, have you stopped to think about why you’re suddenly worth more, and why it took you “threatening” to resign to be recognised? Your employer KNEW you were being underpaid, but they didn’t act on it before until you “threatened” to leave.
On this point, by getting your pay rise now, have you just “fast-forwarded” your review? In most cases, firms have “salary bands”, and so if you’re now at the top of the band, where do you go next? Generally, a new employer will offer a “starting salary”, so there’s guaranteed scope thereafter to earn more.
It’s a fact that you will quickly get used to the extra money in your new pay packet, and in a few months will those original frustrations still be there? Yes. People and companies don’t change overnight.
It’s scary to move somewhere new – we know this! But by making a move, you’ll grow as you face new challenges, and learn new ways of working. This is EXCITING! There is nothing worse than treading water, and that’s exactly what could happen if you stay.
Trust is broken with your current employer. After all, you have just actively told them that you can be considered a “flight risk”
Can they count on you, and will this limit your future?
You may have just inadvertently put yourself at the top of the pile if they’re looking to “trim the fat” and make some redundancies or restructure!
It’s been known that sometimes employers will start looking for your replacement, even if they’ve counter-offered you. They know as well as we do, that you’ll be looking again in the future.
Your future employer saw a potential in you that your current one didn’t see, and that’s why they offered you the job! It’s a big risk taking on a newbie, but they’re willing to invest in you. Can you say the same for your current employer?
It’s highly unlikely that the new company will consider you again in the future. Once you’ve accepted a counter-offer, the new company will likely put it down to you being “bought” by your current employer and could feel that you have wasted their time by accepting their offer in the first place!
Your career path is important, and so you should make the right decision for YOU and your family.
If you do decide to stay, our advice is to make sure you get EVERYTHING in writing from your current employer. It’s also vital to close everything off professionally with the other company and the Recruiter (it’s a very small world, and you don’t know who you will come across again in the future).
If you are ready for your next career step, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07850 469000.