Actuarial employers do all they can to hire and keep good talent. In today’s competitive market, we have noticed that Actuaries seeking new employment are discussing counteroffers with their recruiters more frequently than ever before. As recruiters, we often ask, what is causing this? Is it because Actuaries feel loyal to their managers? Do they feel their skills are more valuable to their employer than ever before? Do they feel a counteroffer can be used as a tool to get them to the next level?
We have laid out a few thinking points below which we hope will help make the process of considering an offer (internal or external) a bit easier and more intuitive.
Starting the Job Search
If a counteroffer is something you anticipate from your current employer at the time of giving notice, consider a few things as you begin your search for new employment. Talking through these points with your DW Simpson recruiter will also be beneficial.
- Do your research and know your value in the market.
- Consider talking with your manager to address your concerns/frustrations with your role/situation before you start interviewing.
- Ask for that promotion or salary increase you have been waiting for. Don’t wait until you have another offer to use as leverage. This can be ill received by your employer.
- Do the risks of considering a counteroffer outweigh the rewards?
- Identify what your career goals are – short and long term. Will accepting a counteroffer from your current employer help you reach your goals in the near/long term?
Approaching the Offer Stage
As you near the end of your search and you have an offer in hand from a new employer, ask yourself, “Why was I looking to leave my current employer in the first place? Am I ready to have counteroffer discussions with my current employer should they come up?”
Consider the risks of considering a counteroffer:
- Will your current employer be in a position to present you a counteroffer? Or, will they wish you luck and send you on your way? If this is the case, you have to be willing to take the new employers offer.
- Will your employer view you as less loyal? Will you burn bridges?
- If your current employer presents a counteroffer with more money, why did it take you giving notice for them to take this action? Will this increase in compensation affect your next annual increase/bonus?
- You’ve now given your word that at one point you weren’t happy – is your employer now going to look at you and your work in a different way? Will they consider you a flight risk or will they have trust issues going forward?
- While the counteroffer may address your short-term concerns, it may be just a quick fix. Statistics compiled by the National Employment Association confirm the fact that over 80% of people who accept a counteroffer aren’t with that same employer after 6 months’ time.
- Your current employer’s motivations to present a counteroffer might be to benefit them more than to benefit the employee. It may cost the company more money (and time) to find your replacement than to dangle a carrot that will make you stay.
In conclusion, employers want to keep good talent and counteroffers may play a role in that effort. However, for the employer, being able to tolerate some amount of turnover may be crucial to continue as a successful department and/or company. Dartmouth business professor Sydney Finkelstein writes that “managers who spawn new generations of talent within their industry know that they can’t hold on to employees forever. Instead, they know when it’s time to let go of someone stellar who’s moving onto something else.”
In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Mark Weinberger (CEO at EY) said, “If you can keep [your employees], great. If you can’t, then hopefully they’re a great representative of you [your company], an ambassador of you [your company] out in their new jobs.”
As you are considering the next move in your career, arm yourself with as much information as possible and rely on your DW Simpson recruiter as a resource. At DW Simpson, we strive to be the best actuarial career advisors in the market, given our long-term and relationship driven approach, combined with numerous years in the industry.
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About the Author
Julie Garwood joined DW Simpson Global Actuarial Recruitment in February, 2006. As a Manager and Recruiter, Julie enjoys the interpersonal aspects of keeping in touch with individuals throughout the evolution of their careers. Learning a person’s preferences both personally and professionally over time helps her to assist them in finding the job which makes the most sense for them at every step of their career.