Most savvy folks know that it’s never a good idea to accept a counter-offer from the current employer — once a methodical search and careful decision have resulted in tendering resignation so as to move on to the next chapter. The reasons, of course, include that you’ve now labeled yourself as not only looking but already out the door, dissatisfied in some way that allowed another opportunity to be enticing … and if you were to accept the counter-offer, there’d always be the second-guessing that accompanies it: are they going to worry I’ll still be looking? [yes] … would I be first to be cut in a WFR? [yes] … is my loyalty now going to be questioned? [quite possibly]. But how about from the viewpoint of the employer? Why shouldn’t a counter-offer be extended in the first place?
A study conducted by Communicate Recruitment Solutions (London; published in July/Aug. issue of Human Resource Executive) found what we know to be true: counter-offers are typically nothing more than last-ditch attempts to keep someone within a business. Instead, employers should learn the truth about why someone is resigning when they claim it’s about the compensation (most people don’t leave for more money; generally, they’re unhappy with the organization and/or may have received an offer that simply couldn’t be refused). The CEO of Communicate, James Lock, said, “employers must resist the urge to react impulsively to a star employee’s announcement. When considering a counter-offer, ask yourself whether you would be offering the employee a pay raise … if they hadn’t resigned.” He adds, “Bringing someone with new ideas and different qualities on board can be an exciting prospect, particularly when you can dictate a remuneration package you can afford.”
Have you ever been tempted to accept a generous-sounding counter-offer? Any angst that followed accepting one? Have you been tempted to retain a top employee with a strong counter-offer? All food for thought …
– Jan Melnik, M.A., MRW, CCM, CPRW - President, Absolute Advantage
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