Buy Back

Resigning? What to do when you’re offered a pay rise…


Buy Back

You’ve done it, you’ve got the job you were looking for, the offer is on the table and maybe even a little bump in pay too! Next up is the dreaded resignation, do it professionally and courteously. But, all of a sudden your current employer has decided they don’t want you to leave and offers you a pay rise, this, is what we call “the buy-back”.

Some questions to ask yourself first;
  • Did you resign because they weren’t paying you enough?

Had you approached this before and you were rejected? If so, it’s taken your resignation for your employer to realise your worth, is that a company you want to continue working for?

  • Did you resign because of working arrangements you weren’t happy with?

Money isn’t going to solve this problem. In fact, statistics show that 90% of people leave within 6 months of receiving a pay rise at resignation, simply because the allure of a pay bump wore off and it was still much of the same. Your employer needs to recognise internal issues and proactively change them. If it takes your resignation to bring that to their attention, then that habit will likely never change and new issues will arise in the future.

  • Did you resign because you wanted a change of scenery?

Some will find jobs for life and stay for decades, but as time goes on, opportunities increase, industries shrink and grow and these unicorn careers are becoming more and more of a rarity. When you come to the conclusion that it’s time to move on, that’s perfectly normal and it’s an opportunity for a fresh start, new people, new challenges and new goals. Whilst an increase in pay at your current employer may seem like the holy grail, you risk becoming institutionalised and losing that opportunity to grow somewhere new.

In conclusion, you’ll notice a pattern here, the “buy-back” is something we see quite often and it can tempt people to stay, but the majority of the time they’re back searching again within 12 months. Whilst money is often a key driving factor, many of us look for a new job for reasons beyond that and it is key you remember those reasons when faced with the buy-back.

Pricing yourself out of the market

Another thing to consider when faced with the “buy-back” is pricing yourself out of the market. Whilst salary ranges will differ from employer to employer, general industries will have a rough salary range and you may one day be faced with being too expensive within your industry and if you get to that stage, moving (without taking a pay cut) will become increasingly difficult. But, how do you know if this is happening? It’s best to speak to your recruiter, and of course, get a few opinions, all good agencies will be able to advise you on the rough salary range you should be expecting for your experience, just like you’d approach multiple estate agents for advice on how to price your property for sale. The closer you get to the top-end, the smaller your pool of opportunities will be.

Why do employers offer the buy-back?

Searching for a new employee is a timely and costly endeavour, with many pitfalls along the way and it is almost always cheaper for an employer to offer their disgruntled employee a pay rise than to invest thousands in searching for and training a replacement. It’s not just the cost of hiring either, it’s the potential loss of earnings whilst current staff are training the new staff plus potential loss of earnings whilst the new staff member gets up to speed on the company’s processes. A combination of these can cost a company 5 times the cost of a hefty 10% pay rise.

But what if you decide to stay?

By all means, if an employer can properly address the issues you’ve raised and you can see a brighter future then give it a try, but just remember it shouldn’t take resignation to get to that stage. But, be weary, the relationship is under scrutiny now, will you leave again in a few months? Are you as dedicated to your employer as much as when you started? You’ll be back to square one rebuilding that trust and will no doubt slow down your progression prospects within the company, too.

Some key takeaway points

  • Don’t use resignation as a bartering tool, your employer could call your bluff
  • Try and address issues with your line manager or HR department directly first. Make sure they set a path, timelines and absolutely hold them accountable.
  • If you’ve already tried to iron out issues prior to resigning, taking a deal upon resignation shows how little your needs were valued and problems will likely arise again
  • Resign because you genuinely want something new, not as a means to an end

In conclusion, remember the reasons behind why you’re leaving and think about the process rationally.