How Much Would Your Boss Pay to Stop You Leaving?

Sarah Butcher | E-Financial Careers

Times are tight. If you work in banking and you want a pay increase, recruiters say there is really only one way of securing one: you’ll need to threaten to leave. And then you’ll need to hope that your employer likes you enough to buy you back again.

“It’s become incredibly common for banks to make counter-offers,” says Zaki Ahmed, founder of specialist equity research headhunting firm Financial Search. “As a result, a lot of people are interviewing just to be bid back. Nowadays a counter-offer is one of the only ways a bank can justify an increase in pay.”

How much can you expect your pay to be increased by when you threaten to leave? In London, you can expect 10%, to match the 10% rise you can command in a new role, says Ahmed. The days of 25% pay hikes for changing jobs in the City are over.

On Wall Street, Jeanne Branthover, financial services practice leader at Boyden Executive Search in New York, says front office banking candidates can still achieve 20% pay increases by switching firms. By comparison, she says internal promotions only bring pay increases of 3-5%. US candidates therefore also have an incentive to threaten to leave in the hope of eliciting a buyback.

Needless to say, there are good reasons not to strong-arm your boss into increasing your pay. “If you accept a counter-offer, your firm will never trust you 100% in future,” says Branthover. “You looked for a new job without them knowing and they had to do something to keep you.

If it takes announcing that you’re leaving to get an increase in pay, you shouldn’t be staying,” Branthover adds.

Ahmed says the eruption in candidates who are simply trying for a counter-offer is irksome to recruiters: “If clients spend time with candidates who are interviewing simply to get a pay uplift at their current house, they will feel understandably frustrated.” As a result, he says headhunters’ time is increasingly spent trying to sniff out candidates who are only feigning interest in new roles. Those found guilty are liable to be blacklisted.

However, Branthover says there’s one set of circumstances in which accepting a counter-offer might be a good idea. “When the company comes back with more money and the promise of a new position internally which has never been on the table before, accepting a counteroffer might be worthwhile,” she says. “But if you accept a counteroffer that’s just based on the money, you will often leave within a year. More money won’t cure whatever was making you unhappy in your current job.”

If you found this article helpful you might also want to check out, “Never, Ever, Ever Accept a Counteroffer

Now Is Not The Time To Accept A Counter Offer

Robin Judson |

Jack G. complained constantly that his fund did not pay him anywhere close to the value he produced. In his role as a Principal in XYZ Private Equity Fund, he had significant P&L attached to the portfolio companies he worked with, sat on two boards and a deal he originated was about to close. Two

... Read Article

Some Wall Street dealmakers are choosing WFH over big paydays, as return-to-office plans become key to recruiting

Samantha Stokes | Insider

Recruiters told Insider that some senior bankers at the managing-director level and above are saying they won’t consider new roles that are based in the office full-time. Samantha Lee/Business Insider Flexible-work policies are top of mind for many senior bankers, recruiters say. Candidates are turning down roles that don’t allow remote work at least sometimes. Some

... Read Article

Wall Street’s Hottest Commodity: College Grads With Excel Skills

Mary Biekert | Wall Street Journal

All across Wall Street, one price keeps going up: the one for young talent. Big banks can’t hire junior staff fast enough — not even at the new going rate of $100,000 a year. Chalk it up to the pandemic. Or the notoriously long hours. Or youthful realizations that maybe banking isn’t all it’s cracked

... Read Article

How To Handle Job Offers In The Post-Lockdown Economy

Robin Judson |

Many job searches during this post-lockdown period result in candidates receiving multiple offers. How to best handle the scenario.

... Read Article

A Guide To Interviewing From A Career Recruiter

Robin Judson | Robin Judson Partners

We believe we know interviewing because we have been in the financial recruiting business for over 25 years. This is our guide.

... Read Article

How To Nail A Video Interview

Robin Judson |

With the on-going pandemic, we see many of our clients conducting their interviews on Zoom, Skype and other services.    The video interview offers the best and worst combination of telephone and personal interviews.   We suspect that even after the end of the pandemic,  the video interview is here to stay, for at least a couple

... Read Article

A Simple Approach to Successful Interviewing

Robin Judson |

Those of you who have worked with us know that we always emphasize one key approach to interviews. We always say, be yourself.  Be your best self but be yourself. Don’t try to be what you think the interviewer wants.  You don’t really know what they want.  You could lose the opportunity because they perceive

... Read Article