2022 is a new year and a fresh start. One of the most common trends I have seen in the Professional Services market already is – the ever present yet improved – Counter Offer. 

As an example, I was recently representing a Senior in the CA space who was keen to secure an Assistant Manager role. After receiving an external job offer a counter offer followed from their current employer. This resulted in a salary increase of over $30k and a promotion. Counter offers have always been on the radar in the CA sector but the situation is being compacted by the lack of available candidates in the market place more so than ever before.  

So the real question is, is there a good reason to accept a Counter Offer? The short answer is yes, so let’s talk through the good and bad reasons someone might accept a Counter Offer.

Good reasons to take a counter offer:

  • Specific promotion details with title, salary, KPIs and a timeline/review date in writing
  • Something in writing to a transfer in office location
  • Confirmation that there will be a change of client portfolio or projects that will broaden your experience
  • A new contract that states your change from one service line to another Eg. Audit to Corporate Finance
  • An agreement in writing to confirm change in flexibility such as flexihours/glide time and/or work from home days
  • Formally addressing the reasons why a job seeker was on the market in the first place
  • Change of management or culture change of team
  • Written confirmation of upskilling/academic course investment

Bad reasons:

  • Accepting a counter offer that does not address the original reasons for a job seeker   wanting to leave
  • Accepting a counter offer for a temporary salary bump
  • Staying with your current employer due to misplaced loyalty
  • Verbal agreements with no contract and written commitment to make the necessary changes to position sought
  • No clarity or plan on negating reasons to stay 
  • Emotive sense of responsibility to a current employer or manager
  • Feeling like the job seeker is “letting the manager down”
  • Other resignations in addition to the job seeker’s therefore leaving a larger workload for those remaining in a team

At the end of the day, as an experienced recruiter, this is not our first rodeo. Once you receive your Counter Offer, let your recruiter know the details and how you’re feeling about it. Do not just accept the Counter Offer. We will also work with your new employer to produce an offer to convince you to join them even though an attractive (and familiar) offer is presented by your current employer. Then it is up to you and your recruiter to work through which is the best outcome for you.

In my experience, many job seekers return to the jobs market within six months of accepting a counter offer as many of the motivators to move were not resolved by the current employer or the desire to move is firmly planted into a job seekers mind which results in them choosing to return to exploring other career opportunities. 

The Professional Services market is booming right now. I have registered 20 new opportunities in the CA space and am already in the process of arranging several meetings for job seekers and clients – we are only one week in! If you would like to discuss your career, market and options then do get in touch. We would love to hear how we can manage your career search.

Tasha Toehemotu 

09 930 9827