Statistics confirm the fact that more than 80% of the employees who decided to accept a counteroffer are not with their company six months later!
Our Executive Search efforts on behalf of a client-company eventually lead to a shortlist of candidates who come close to the client’s expectations and job requirements. These candidates are most often persons who had not been actively looking for a new job, but felt attracted by the new assignment they have been approached for.
The process continues and the client-company decides to select out of the shortlist the person who best suits its needs. Once the decision is made, the company makes an employment offer to the chosen candidate. It is now the candidate’s turn to analyze the offer and, if acceptable, to notice her/his current employer.
This is a delicate point in our consulting practice when we advice ‘winning’ candidates on what to expect when they will notice their current employer. Candidates may face a variety of reactions to their notification:
- The current employer might overreact and ask the notifying person to immediately leave the premises and pursue notice period from home;
- The present employer might accept the notification and ask the departing employee to ensure a smooth handing-over of her/his tasks during the notice period, while often also conducting an exit interview to explore the reasons of the departure, aiming to thus improve best retaining practices in the company;
- The employer might ‘emotionally’ influence the employee’s decision, pointing out her/his importance to the company, reminding her/him of the outstanding contribution to the business and team, referring to loyalty and related disappointment, recalling ‘good times’, etc.
- The employer might try to retain the employee by making a counteroffer, most commonly by financial means, sometimes by offering a promotion within the company.
Accepting a counteroffer or even an emotional call is a very dangerous decision….
Even if the purpose of the current employer is well-meaning, he will actually not forget that he was forced into the situation of counter offering his employee. Sooner or later, given circumstances, he will most probably (not necessarily intentionally) get back to the employee and ask her/him to leave the company (as initially mentioned, statistics do prove that more than 80% of the employees accepting a counteroffer will be asked to leave the company within the next six months).
A counter-offered employee will eventually face:
- An employer who will keep her/him under the magnifying glass at all times;
- An employer who will always (openly or tacitly) question her/his loyalty;
- An employer who will indebt her/him whenever the occasion arises;
- An employer who will ‘blackmail’ her/him during tough business times, reminding her/him of the favor made before;
- Her/his dismissal whenever the business needs to be restructured/reorganized;
- Her/his professional plateau whenever promotion is planned in the company;
- Her/his financial shortage whenever compensation & benefits will be re-discussed.
Having maybe exaggeratedly described the consequences of accepting a counteroffer above, I will change the course of the topic towards advice for persons who need to decide on accepting the offer of a new employer:
- Analyze the new offer carefully, not solely from a financial perspective, but moreover from a professional angle! Is the new job more appealing to you? Is the new assignment fulfilling? Does it offer you the sought-after career perspectives? Is this advancement for you? Does it bring you closer to your professional and personal mid and long-term expectations?
- Are you ready to move on? Is this the right time for you to make a shift in your career? Do you need the change?
- If your answer is YES to all the above, then be professional when noticing your current employer: tell him about your decision, describe the circumstances for him, explain firmly that it is about your professional development and not about your earnings, thank him for having enabled your advancement up to this point, express your gratitude for the progress and the time worked together, ensure him of your commitment for a smooth handing-over of your tasks to the person elected to take over, offer help in identifying or counseling your successor.
- It is clearly an emotional moment for both you and your employer. You are definitely allowed to express feelings, gratitude, nostalgia, but you should not sound off remorse or regrets if your decision is firm.
- If a counteroffer is being made to you, reiterate the facts: your decision is not based on figures; your choice is related to career progression, to professional development, to personal fulfillment.
- You are definitely allowed to briefly mourn if you feel the need to grieve after the employer you will depart from, especially if this was a good employer, a school to you, a coach, and a developer. Take your time to do that, but do not forget the ‘greater good’, the reason why you are departing: your own advancement and professional evolution, your personal maturation, your hike towards new peaks! Move consciously forward and be at peace with your decision!
Featured artist & copyright: Ilie Krasovschi