Counter Offers

Counter Offers

Counter offers have made a recovery over the past few years with the demand for talent, and now it is very likely a quality/qualified employee will receive a counter offer when they get a new job offer.

Throughout our careers we have heard of all the reasons not to take a counter offer. Some may call it “career suicide” as oftentimes the employee is not experienced enough for the position they are being counter offered.

So who accepts counter offers and why?

If an employee is happy at their current job, of course they would be more likely to accept a counter offer. Why would they leave somewhere they are comfortable with and happy at? However, oftentimes it is in a candidate’s best interest to take the better opportunity with the better position, even if the candidate doesn’t see it.

What about the candidate who isn’t happy, who is underpaid, or is never going to get a higher up position in their present company? You would think that would be a different case than the employee who’s happy in their present situation, right?

The more level-headed, clear cut, decisive candidates are the lowest risk. These candidates are professionally mature and know what the best decision for themselves in the long run is. They understand the career risks that come with counter offers and are the most likely to make the best decision.

Then there are the fence sitters. These candidates must be viewed with caution as they are more likely to make the wrong decisions, even though they believe they are sincere in their desire to make a move for the next opportunity. These kind of candidates over analyze their options because they normally don’t have the experience to trust their own instincts. Because of this they put off decision making or give themselves reasons to objectify their actions. These candidates don’t like change, and therefore are more likely to stay and accept a counter offer. They are generally insecure about their abilities and professionally immature.

The biggest sign of the professionally undeveloped is a lack of enthusiastic commitment. A couple of telltale signs of a candidate lacking enthusiastic commitment are:

–          They go dark on you at critical moments in the process

–          Take an inordinately long time to make decisions or make excuses to extend the decision date

–          They have endless questions regarding the offer

–          They are surprised at how aggressive their current employer is in their pursuit to keep them

–          They require too much hand holding

Oftentimes it isn’t even the money that can affect the decision of a candidate. Many times it is the promise of a title change or other future rewards and recognition for their contributions. They believe that it has been an oversight that they haven’t been being recognized by their current employers as much as they should be, and they want to believe it when a counter offer “promises” them just that.

Although we can’t predict the behavior and outcome of every candidate, by knowing some of the telltale signs and features of a fence sitter candidate we can be better prepared when it comes to interviews.

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