Counteroffers: Just Say No!
I recently posted a blog called “The Proper Way to Quit a Job.” Towards the end of that article, I mentioned that the most typical response by any boss who doesn’t want to lose an employee who is quitting is to come up with a counteroffer (more money, a promotion, more responsibility, a modified reporting structure, etc.) Most recruiters are trained to discuss this issue with their candidates from the very first conversation … and keep bringing it up over and over. That’s because one of the most common reasons for placements falling apart at the last minute is a candidate foolishly accepting a counteroffer. I say “foolishly” because it is considered Career Suicide by almost all Staffing Professionals. Why is that? The following information was published in the Wall Street Journal:
Fact: 80% of all people who accept a counteroffer leave their company or are terminated within six months. (Source: National Employment Association)
Fact: 90% of all people who accept a counteroffer will re-start their job search within six months. (Source: Business Week)
Fact: Decent and well-managed companies don’t make counteroffers … EVER! Their policies are fair and equitable. They will never be subjected to counteroffer coercion, which they perceive as blackmail.
And needless to say, you will have burned a pretty major bridge to the company whose offer you turned down by accepting the counteroffer. Once you’ve “left someone at the alter,” you can almost never go back. That other opportunity will be gone forever. Word gets around – and when you do inevitably end up back on the job market, that burnt bridge might come back to bite you. [Read “The Golden Rule for Business: Don’t Burn Bridges” for more on why this issue is so critical.]
So why do some companies make counteroffers? Think about it. When someone quits, it’s a direct reflection on the boss. Employers don’t like to be “fired.” In most cases, the boss will look bad for allowing you to go. It’s an implied insult to their management skills. Bosses are judged in part, by their ability to retain staff. They probably don’t have a contingency plan for your departure. Your leaving may jeopardize an important project, increase workload for others or even foul up vacation schedules. It’s never a good time for someone to quit. It may prove time consuming and costly to replace you. In the short term, it’s much cheaper to keep you – even at a higher salary. So their gut reaction is to do whatever has to be done to keep you from leaving … until they are ready to fire you on THEIR timetable! That’s human nature.
The following list is not new – it’s been published in many different forms, has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and has been floating around the internet for many years. Still, it’s absolutely on target … and each of these points is totally true. They all add up to one inescapable conclusion: Just Say No to Counteroffers!!!
The TOP 10 Reasons Why NOT to Accept a Counteroffer:
Reason No. 10: Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will never be the same. You will lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance.
Reason No. 9: Accepting a counteroffer is a bribe – an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride. You will always know that you were bought.
Reason No. 8: Statistics compiled by the National Employment Association confirm the fact that over 80% of people who accept a counteroffer are no longer with their company six months later.
Reason No. 7: The same circumstances that made you consider a change in the first place will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counteroffer.
Reason No. 6: When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you. Your position will be much less secure going forward.
Reason No. 5: When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal and who wasn’t. Which list do you think you will be on?
Reason No. 4: You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.
Reason No. 3: Your company will immediately start looking for a new person at a lower salary.
Reason No. 2: Where is the money for the counteroffer coming from? Is it your next raise, early? If you were worth “X” yesterday, why are they suddenly willing to pay you “X + Y” today?
Reason No. 1: What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you are worth?!