Counter Offers

For recruiters (which includes the hiring manager at the client) counter offers are a nightmare; after many months the project is near to completion and a great candidate is offered a role only for them to turn round and say they are staying put as their company have offered them more money, promotion, a bigger team, promises of a Directorship…

Both the client and ourselves spoke with them in the initial stages about why they want to leave and what their employer would do when they resigned and everything was fine. No problems. No Issues. So what happened?

Scenario One
After three interviews you have been offered an exciting new role with a much better salary and benefits package than your current one and a promotion to boot. Although you have been at the company five years you feel it is time to move on; you go tell your boss and give him your resignation letter. The next day he calls you into his office and tells you that he doesn’t want to lose you and that the company have promised to match your new salary if you stay and promote you within a few months. So, what do you do?

Scenario Two
After three interviews you have been offered an exciting new role with a much better salary and benefits package than your current one. You have been at the company five years and don’t really want to move on, you just feel that you are worth more. You tell your boss and straightaway he offers you the same salary to stay, which you immediately accept.

So which one are you? Or have you had experience of both scenarios?

But why would you stay? What has happened in Scenario Two? You have told your company that your only loyalty is to your wallet and that you are quite prepared to hold your company to ransom to achieve your aims. You can only do this once though. The next time they may call your bluff and you’d better be very good at your job to justify the increased salary.

If you are involved in Scenario One and decide to stay what has happened? You have told your company that you want to leave but only the lure of money and promotion has kept you there and they may well view this as disloyal. Also your reasons for leaving (an increased salary, unless you are vastly underpaid, is not a good reason for leaving) are still the same; the only thing that has changed is that you are getting paid more for being unhappy in your role. Think - why were you not worth that salary before you resigned? What happens if the promotion is not forthcoming? And what do you have to do next time to get a raise?

For recruiters both scenarios are a nightmare as they waste months of work and cause tremendous hassle and frustration.

For the employer it can be a mixed blessing; yes, you have kept the key employee, although they are now costing you more, and you don’t have the hassle of replacing them. However, you are now concerned that they might leave in the future anyway so should you start looking for a replacement?

Experience has shown us that candidates in both scenarios tend to be back in the market looking for a new role within 9-12 months as, in the first scenario, their reasons for wanting to move are still the same and in the second scenario they find that their relationship with their employer has subtly changed.

Links to other pages

Reasons for Leaving
Being Headhunted