Accountancy Role Counter Offers: Should You Stay or Go?

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Accountancy role counter offers are a challenge; let me explain. After careful collaboration with your financial recruiter and a few successful interviews, you may have finally found a new position where you think you can thrive. However, when you go back to your current employer, they could attempt to stop you from leaving with a counteroffer, promising increased pay, opportunities, and other benefits.

Counter offers are common in today’s skill short financial market. The best talent isn’t easy to find, and currently, financial firms are struggling with some of the worst vacancy rates on record. It’s little wonder 50% of employees who choose to resign end up getting a counteroffer from their employer.

Of course, dealing with a counteroffer can lead to new challenges for financial professionals. You need to decide whether your career will benefit more from a change in scenery or whether the promises made by your existing employer are worth staying for.

So, how do you make the right decision?

What to do Before Making a Decision

There’s a lot of pressure involved in handling a counteroffer from your current employer. Whether you’re dealing with one or multiple alternative role options, you’ll be expected to decide on your next step quickly. On the surface, a counteroffer may be difficult to reject. It allows you to stay with your existing company and the team you already know and potentially access new benefits.

However, statistics show around 80% of employees who accept a counteroffer end up leaving their employer in 6 months or less. Around 9 out of 10 will leave within a year.

Before you decide, it’s important to get your facts straight:

  • Check the terms: Speak to your manager extensively about the counteroffer terms and what you can expect. Ask them why they’re only offering you this opportunity now, and examine career progression opportunities. This will help you compare your current employer’s offer to the alternative role you’re considering.
  • Speak to your recruitment consultant: A financial recruitment consultant can be an excellent source of guidance. They can give you their professional opinion on the best strategy for your career goals. Plus, they can share advice on dealing with or rejecting a counteroffer without burning bridges.
  • Assess your reasons for leaving: Ask yourself why you started looking for a new financial role in the first place. What issues were you trying to resolve, and will the counteroffer eliminate them or postpone your transition?

The Reasons to Say “No” to a Counter Offer

While there are circumstances in which accepting a counteroffer might be a good option for some candidates, most of the time, the best option is to move on. Accepting a counteroffer can present many problems as you pursue your career path. Here are some main reasons you should consider saying “no”.

1. The Underlying Problem isn’t Resolved

Statistics show only about 12% of employees choose to resign because of a financial problem. The chances are you’re looking for a new role because you’ve encountered several issues with your existing position. You might feel your skills aren’t being properly utilised, or you may not see any opportunities for growth and progression in the years ahead.

Revisit your reasons for looking into different job opportunities, and ask whether the counteroffer will address them. If you’re unhappy with your existing employer’s company culture, leadership style, or approach to development, these things are unlikely to change if you go back.

2. Your Relationship With Your Employer Will Change

While it’s perfectly normal for financial professionals to make numerous movements to different positions during their career, employers are often looking for loyalty. Even if you decide to go back to your previous role, the chances are your relationship with your boss will change.

They may stop coming to you with new opportunities or considering you for promotions because they’re unsure how committed you are to the business. If your employer isn’t sure whether you’re going to stick around, your job security may decrease. Some employers will begin looking for replacements as soon as you suggest you may be resigning.

In some cases, counteroffers can be used as a stall tactic by employers struggling to fill in-demand roles. You may also find your employer unwilling to offer you new responsibilities or raises any time soon, after you return to their business.

3. You Could End Up Standing Still

Although it’s possible to gradually work your way up to a leadership position in the financial industry with one company, many professionals move through various organisations, expanding their network and skills.

Staying in one place could mean standing still, failing to progress towards your career goals. You may even find that your progression opportunities are diminished because your employer is less willing to invest in a staff member who might be a flight risk.

Ask yourself whether your new role will help you achieve your desired career. If you can discover new opportunities for growth with a different employer, a slight increase in pay from your current boss may not be worth it.

4. Counter Offers May Come with Increased Expectations

Accepting a counteroffer generally means you’ll be exposed to more scrutiny from your current employer. Not only will they be constantly testing your loyalty, but they may expect you to prove yourself to be a valuable asset to the team, by taking on more responsibilities.

While additional tasks in your financial role can be an excellent way to develop new skills, you might find that you end up taking on more than you can handle. If you’re under constant scrutiny from your manager, you may end up experiencing symptoms of stress and burnout.

Ask yourself what’s going to be expected of you if you accept your counteroffer, and whether you can deal with the hassle of constantly proving yourself.

Making the Right Choice

More often than not, once you’ve made the decision to move on from your existing employer, it’s best to stick with your plan and pursue new opportunities. Although staying with your existing company might seem like the more comfortable choice, you could end up facing a number of new challenges and complications. Not to mention, you’ll always be left wondering “what if”.

Assess your options carefully, make sure you have all the facts, and speak to your recruitment agency for extra guidance.



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