Dealing with Counter-Offers

If a new organisation makes you an offer there’s a good chance the one you’re leaving will try to keep you. There are numerous reasons why – among them:

  • You’re good at your job and they won’t want to lose the resource.
  • You’re difficult and expensive to replace.
  • It will take time for your replacement to get up to speed.
  • Your replacement is an unknown quantity – they aren’t you.
  • The people you work with or act for are unlikely to appreciate the change.
  • The client may decide to move with you.

 It’s a universal truth in the recruitment game that buy-backs very rarely, if ever, work out. We reckon most of you will be looking for a move again within 6 months to 1 year at most. Because:

  • Whatever assurances are offered, the underlying culture of the organisation will remain just as it was.
  • For the organisation the buy-back is a cheap, immediate and hassle-free fix.
  • No-one likes negotiating at gun-point.
  • Counter-offers always involve cash and you’re not moving for money. People only move when they feel under-valued. If the organisation really valued you why have they let you reach the point of resigning?
  • Once you have demonstrated you are willing to leave, they will harbour a doubt about your long-term commitment. 
  • If you accept the counter-offer your bluff has been called. They know it and you know it.

Leopards don’t change their spots and elephants have long memories.

So, before you take any concrete steps to move from your present position, make sure you have explored every alternative which does not involve a move:

  • Speak to the right people and make sure they know why you feel you are not getting the recognition you think you deserve. 
  • Listen very carefully to what they say.
  • Listen very carefully to what they don’t say.
  • Don’t think they will understand why you have got yourself an offer elsewhere. They won’t. 
  • Find a recruitment agent you can trust. Talk it through with them. We’ve heard it all and will give you an objective view. 

After all, I’m not going to invest my time in finding you a new position unless I’m pretty sure before I start the process that you’re going to take it!

Image Source: Nomadic Lass (via Flickr)