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It's not about the money say some accountants

Written by: Craig Clark-Darby
Published on: 25 Oct 2012

Craig recruits executive level finance positions within commerce and industry, in both the SME and large corporate environments. Craig has significant relationships across his sector and delivers a high standard of service through his attention to detail and commitment to customer service. Craig has an exceptional level of market knowledge and offers a consultative approach to both his clients and candidates.

Determining the main motivation for a candidate wanting to move to a new and virtually identical role as the one they already have, has always been crucial information for the seasoned recruitment consultant. Historically, the answer was more often than not - "I am looking to increase my spending ability", otherwise translated as "I want more cash". This reason made things straight forward. We would ask the candidate how much money and go back to the prospective employer with the proposed offer, hoping they thought the candidate was worth it. 

Then the recession came - salaries froze, recruiters stopped booking holidays and the realisation of not getting more money in another role became apparent for many professionals. Fast forward a few years and the economy is still recovering - so what is motivating the best talent in the market to move jobs now? Marks Sattin's 2012 Market Report has thankfully answered this tricky question.

Our comprehensive report found that only 28% of accountancy and finance professionals would leave their role for a higher salary, whilst 67% of respondents would leave for a combination of a new challenge, career development and a better work/life balance.

These findings raise a number of challenges for employers looking to hire new talent into their business, as it is clear that offering a bit more money is simply not enough for the ever shrewder candidate. Companies that want to attract high calibre professionals need to look at what career progression opportunities they can offer prospective employees at the very early stages of the recruitment process and then deliver on those promises.

So if accountancy and finance professionals are looking for more than just money from a job, what are businesses doing to retain employees who want to move on? Surprisingly, in many cases they are offering more money.

Our report found that almost 1 in 4 accountants get counter offered, with offers on average at 15% of the employee's base salary. This statistic is up from 12 months ago, where only 1 in 8 candidates got counter offered and the offer was closer to 5% of the base salary.

With competition to secure the best talent in the market continually increasing, businesses need to carefully consider what non-monetary opportunities they offer as an employer to attract and retain staff. Throwing more money at a situation is a short term solution - very few candidates that accept a counter offer stick around for longer than 12 months and as our findings highlight it really isn't about the money.

The Marks Sattin 2012 Market Report is available now. To secure your copy or for more information about our findings contact Craig on +44 (0)207 747 9707 or email