By Michelle McColl and Maura McConnell, Co-Proprietors, In2view Recruitment
According to the results of the latest ALPMA Australian Legal Industry Salary & HR Issues Survey, an increasing number of Australian and New Zealand law firms plan to hire new staff in the next twelve months. In Australia, this number has jumped by 20% - with 51% of firms indicating they plan to recruit new staff in the next 12 months, compared to 31% last year.
For the first time since the survey commenced, the number one HR issue identified by Australian firms was employee retention and talent management, closely followed by 'finding good staff'.
A more buoyant employment market obviously presents both an opportunity for those who are considering changing jobs and a threat to employers.
As recruiters, we are seeing an increase in the number of counter offers offered to employees who have been offered a job elsewhere to encourage the staff member to stay. Counter offers can be presented in a number of ways, such as a salary increase, promotion, opportunity to earn a bonus or other incentives/benefits.
Managing Counter Offers
If you find yourself in this position, there a number of things to consider:
Counter offers add a layer of complication to the recruitment process, and leave you wondering whether maybe you owe something to your current employer, and that maybe things will improve if you stay.
The first thing you should do is consider why the offer has been made by your employee.
Typically, counter offers are made because:
- replacing you will be an expensive and time consuming exercise;
- your employer will lose all your knowledge, experience and expertise;
- your employer requires you to complete the project on which you are currently working;
- your employer does not have the time and resources to re-train a replacement;
- losing staff may reflect badly on your manager/employer.
Consider what next?
You need to consider that now your employee knows you have been considering leaving, relationships may be strained moving forward. Following your resignation, your loyalty and commitment to the business will be in question, and you may be treated differently.
Your employer may begin seeking a replacement, regardless of whether you stay or leave.
Also consider why you are being offered this new package now, rather than prior to your resignation?
It is also important to reflect on why you felt motivated to move in the first place. In what ways is your new employer an improvement on your current employer? Why do you want to work for them? What opportunities does the new position offer that cannot be matched by your current employer?
Finally, research reveals that most people who accept a counter offer are likely to leave their job within six to 12 months in any case.
Are you just deferring the inevitable if you accept the counter offer?
In the end, the decision will come down to what is best for you and your career moving forward. Good luck!