Handing in your resignation

 

Accepting an offer

This is the culmination of all your efforts. You want the job and you will have discussed your current and expected remuneration package during the interview process. There should be no surprises when the offer is made. This may be made directly by the company or through your recruitment consultant. It is usual for the initial offer is to be made verbally and you should ensure that you have a full understanding of the financial and other contractual details. Now is the time to ask questions so that any potential issues can be addressed as early as possible. Following your verbal acceptance, a written offer will be sent and we advise that you do not resign until you have received and read this.

Resigning
Most people find this the hardest part of the process. They do not like breaking bad news to a manager and an organisation that they will probably have worked with for some time. Resignations should be final and not part of a strategy to get a promotion or a pay rise; these tactics rarely work. You should always aim to resign face to face with your manager and should plan out carefully what you want to say in advance:

  • Stress the positives that you have gained from the organisation - it will be easier if both parties feel good about the meeting.
  • Explain clearly and firmly your reasons for leaving at this stage. Try to avoid your current employer thinking that you can be persuaded to stay. A protracted resignation process is likely to put you through a considerable period of stress.
  • Banish all thoughts of vitriolic leaving speeches. The bad feeling from these will outlive any pleasure they give at the time.

You should aim to leave on a good note, who knows, you may want to come back one day. Or, you could end up back where you started via a merger or outsource deal. If you leave a bad impression, that is what you will be remembered for, it will blot out your positive contributions.

You need to agree a leaving date with your current employer and a start date with your new one. You will have a contractual notice period and there may be project commitments that you do not want to walk away from. If you are joining a competitor, your employer may want you to stop coming in to work immediately and may insist that you are on ‘gardening leave’ for the full period of your contractual notice period. Your new employer will probably want you to join as soon as possible and you should consider if you have unused holiday that you can take as part of your notice period.  Again, aim for this to be an amicable negotiation between all parties. Your recruitment consultant should be able to advise you on the best approach.

The counter offer

Regardless of your sentiment towards your employer and current role it is flattering to receive a counter offer and the salary increase is bound to be enticing. But there is a far more commercial reason as to why a counter offer is made – Sorry to burst the bubble!

A counter offer is often a knee jerk reaction from the manager. Losing a key member of staff is a direct reflection on him/her and so they will do whatever they can to keep you. Some of the implications to losing an employee are:

  • Cost - Replacing staff is more expensive in terms of cash and time than retaining them
  • Vacuum - the replacement of good quality staff in the current climate is difficult
  • Skills - the loss of knowledge and the need for re-training is time-consuming and expensive
  • Instability - the potential domino effect within the team can be damaging as others question their own predicament
  • Resource – With a freeze on headcount managers may be unable to replace lost staff

However, managers are unlikely to be quite so candid with the presentation of a counter offer. It will typically be packaged with much more emotional leverage:

  • “You’re too valuable and we need you”
  • “We were just about to give you a promotion and it was confidential until now”
  • “What did they offer, why are you leaving and what do you need to stay”
  • “The MD wants to meet with you before you make your final decision”

Banks will frequently offer large salary increases, new projects, promotions and modified reporting structures. Although this may appear exciting and tempting, there are always negative implications surrounding a counter offer.

Once you have resigned, particularly to join a competitor, the relationship changes. This perceived lack of loyalty is likely to create a lack of trust and respect from your manager. This could jeopardise your involvement in future projects and, very often, any pay rise as a result of the counter offer will soon fall into line with your peer group. Indeed, there is a good chance you will miss out at the next pay review and we have witnessed subsequent implications at bonus time.

From our experience approximately 80% of those who have accepted a counter offer leave or are terminated within 6 – 12 months and of that 80% over half reinitiate their job search within 3 months.

So what advice can we give you?

In accepting a new role ensure you are committed to it. Current market conditions dictate that the recruitment process will move very quickly and now is not the time to test the water. 
• Understand that the issues that made you consider a move will still be there regardless of any pay increase!
• The short-term cash gain as a result of the counter offer may not work out as attractive as it may seem in the medium to long term.
• Remember the impact that your resignation will have on your manager, so don’t use resignation as a negotiation tool. Only resign if you want to leave!
• Consider the bigger picture and the new opportunity, as well as the commitment made by the new employer to get you on board. 
• Don’t burn bridges. Be clear and consistent with communication to all parties.

Whether you decide to accept or decline a counter offer ensure that you have all the facts and the decision to stay or go is an informed one.

Again if you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact the recruitment consultant you have been dealing with.

And finally – good luck in your new role! 

 

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