[Update at the bottom of article originally posted on May 31.]
Much like at the biggest public accounting firms in the US, the Great Resignation has hit Alliantgroup hard over the last year or two, as employees have left the House of Jadav for greener pastures, more money, and a less toxic work environment. And now that the Houston-based national tax consulting firm is under investigation by federal authorities, more current Alliantgroup employees are planning their escape.
On May 24, the day Alliantgroup employees returned to work in Houston after being given the day off on May 23 and a half-day on May 20 following federal authorities raiding the firm’s offices that morning, one current employee told us:
Despite returning to work today, we are all pursuing employment elsewhere.
Sensing a possible mass exodus because of what happened at the company more than a week ago, a source told us on May 28 that Alliantgroup has already begun the process of offering employees retention bonuses to entice them to stick around a little longer:
They’re beginning to offer some employees retention bonuses with terms of staying over 12 months. Contracts are currently being drafted and will be handed out some time next week.
Firms offering employees retention bonuses is not unheard of during the Great Resignation, at least in public accounting. Last February Deloitte’s tax practice offered seniors and managers a one-time lump-sum payment of $20,000 if they agreed to stay with the Big 4 firm for the next two years. Those who took the money received their retention bonus in April. A similar one-time bonus was offered last October to second-years through senior managers at Deloitte & Touche, Deloitte’s audit practice. Amounts of the bonus varied by level (either $20,000 or $35,000) and were paid out on Jan. 7. Deloitters in audit who took the lump-sum payment now have to stay through the end of May 2023. In both instances (tax and audit), if Deloitte employees who took the retention bonus leave the firm before the terms of the agreement expire, they have to pay the bonus back to the firm in full.
The biggest difference between Deloitte’s and Alliantgroup’s situations is that Deloitte is not under investigation by the feds. We’ll update this article once we know how much of a retention bonus Alliantgroup is offering employees.
[UPDATE] Apparently Alliantgroup has been offering employees retention payments for at least the past year, according to a current employee. This person told us that the retention bonuses are normally $10,000, and if the recipient takes it, he or she must stick around for 12 months. If the employee bolts Alliantgroup before the contract is over, he or she must pay the bonus back in full. Our source told us that the company “has definitely given retention bonuses that were more than $10,000,” but the employee is unaware of any that were less than 10K and has not heard of retention bonuses being offered that were shorter or longer than a 12-month term. The retention bonuses “are used primarily as a tool for determining if somebody has immediate plans of leaving,” the employee said.
The retention agreement contract has a nondisclosure agreement-type clause, according to our source, and only the company’s very top executives can offer employees retention bonuses. The employee told us that he/she has not heard of anyone getting or being offered a retention bonus since Alliantgroup’s offices were raided on May 20.
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If one takes a retention bonus, how can one be assured that the employee’s future raises during the retention period are not lower (than it otherwise would be)?
The market is hot now for talent, a $10,000 grand retention bonus is easily made up with a signing bonus and a higher starting salary around the corner at another accounting firm.
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