{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What are partners going to do with the massive amount of senior turnover? Considering changing anything? Upping pay, benefits, hours? Less understaffing? Anything?", "post_id": "5b856287fc2143001348626f", "reply_count": 14, "vote_count": 59, "bowl_id": "5b8445e288cfcb0013264ade", "bowl_name": "Managing Partner Q&A" }

What are partners going to do with the massive amount of senior turnover? Considering changing anything? Upping pay, benefits, hours? Less understaffing? Anything?

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This is one of those potentially radioactive questions. Lots of underlying concepts and issues here. Turnover - different firms, offices, teams, have differing experiences, even in 2018. While some may be at 25% or more, I am aware of some offices and teams where it is in the 10% range. Always lots of factors driving this. But definitely a general concern in the profession in recent years. After 2009 many people left the profession and didn't return. Firms hired fewer people for a few years and go figure, not enough seniors and managers across the country the last few years. Interesting, while some offices feel shortages now, ot may not be the case a few yea raw down the road as there is more leverage of AI. We shall see. This next comment certainly depends on the specific firm/office/team. People often cry wolf about being understaffed. That is not always the case. Sometimes a group needs better leverage, better allocation and deployment of resources, better management and oversight of people, etc. Management hires numbers of people based on tested and proven staffing models. Understanding how the business operates is critical to the assessment. People get cynical about "firms trying screw staff" and making them work to the bone to avoid more payroll cost. I have never seen anyone in management have this attatide. Sometimes people to be more effective with adequate resources and sometimes management cant hire the right people at the right times. Sometimes there truly is an understaffing challenge. Well, a lot I could say on this and so much easier to have a verbal discussion vs typing an answer. Bottom line in my opinion, firms can and need to enhance strategy to better retain talent. I dont believe it's about comp. It's about people and better connections and rewarding work experience. And at the same time, people at all levels, not just partners, need to take responsibility for their part in supervising and performing efficient work, proactive communication (the lack of which causes all kinds of problems and job dissatisfaction), coaching and mentoring their staff, timely and prioritized client service, etc. Everyone can do better on all sides to mitigate the challenges.

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Having a real connection between compensation and performance, including level of effort, would help. If you do the math, a senior making 75k but is expected to put in 2500 hours equates to 60k in a normal job. Great business model for partners. Not great for the minions

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I feel like it is certainly about comp and surely hours worked in the year. Top two things people have mentioned throughout this year as my team lost 7 people. Left jobs for better pay, better hours, and continued to get great opportunities.

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Adding a Supervisor level will definitely help for maintaining morale.

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This is part of the plan in many areas, so likely nothing except getting more people in the pyramid

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I see seniors/accounting managers in industry make more than me or right at what I make and they strictly do 8-5 o more

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Voluntary turnover at PwC at the senior level was significantly greater in FY18. For audit it was 25.6% for FY18. The three years prior only saw fluctuations from 19 - 20.7%. So yes, it was much more than typical at about a 25% increase. This info was published in PwC’s annual quality report.

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You guys need to learn how to work. I am a manager who is currently overseeing 7 projects. It’s about pay but I make the effort to build connections to my staff and put in the extra hours to teach them. There are days where I spend more than the typical 9-6, but usually it’s just that. 9-6. I go home and finish what I need to finish the next day. Don’t get me wrong I know what I’m doing, so I can afford to go home at a normal time and turn down for the night, for new staff you have to go through that learning curve I get it, but you don’t need to work 12 hour days every day, just pick the days where it counts. When I see any of my staff putting in these kind of hours I tell them to go home or stop because they are burning themselves out. If the work is not getting done timely it’s because I’m not managing it correctly.

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Is it really more than typical?

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My office had about 15-20% leave since busy season. My experience was that this past year had the most for my group but I’ve heard as much as 50% for specific industries in the past

^ agree and well said.

To the points above regarding understaffed, my particular office in the northeast have consistently seen certain jobs understaffed and teams overworked during my 5 years at the firm. It has been a consistent talking point from the staff and senior level to the partner groups but it has not changed. Even as I left, those specific teams now are short staffed as I still know people within the firm. I agree that it’s not always comp but that has to be a big part of it as well. I was a going into my third year as a senior and my second year salary was less than that of a first year senior I personally know. Same ratings, same market team, same industry, different start class. That in itself was a big motivator for me as I, along with others I’ve spoken to, do not feel like our efforts and time at the firm means much or is shown through comp/other reward strategies especially in face of all the communication that the firm does in expressing how well business is. That being said, I also agree to the connections and rewarding work. For me the people were always there but the I was simply getting tired of the work.

Right - it’s our fault PWC5

EY 1 - just saying the hours you put in is a choice. I used to work crazy hours and wouldn’t get the best ratings, until I realized no one actually knew what I was doing or appreciated the effort it took. I met someone who was in a group with a busy season, and took fridays off. Received top tier ratings. Blew my mind. I asked her how and she said “set expectations”. She communicated to her leadership that Friday’s would be hers, and they said ok, but she had to still get the work done. Guess what she learned how to be so efficient that she got a weeks worth of work done in 4 days. And no she didn’t work from 8 am to 2 am everyday. The firms always advocate work life balance, if you promote it then expect people to apply it.

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