Counter Offers and How to Handle Them
We have all dealt with counter offers. Whether we were giving one, receiving one, or losing a potential employee to one. Regardless of which side you’re on, there is one question to be asked. – should we or shouldn’t we?
Counter offers are complex, often emotional and can sometimes have far reaching effects on our careers, our companies, our culture and our team.
A key component of RPM’s interviewing process is presenting a hypothetical situation to prospective candidates where they receive a very nice counter offer! Their response can sometimes dictate whether we proceed with them as a candidate. If they absolutely say they would accept; we coach them to talk with their bosses on their concerns prior to them looking at another job.
Should we or shouldn’t we?
Should an employer offer their employee a counter offer? There are a few, (very few), companies that have the policy- no counter offers. However, you are short staffed, the employee has excellent skills, it’s crazy hard to find a new employee – who wants to start over? However – there can be risks.
Statistically, it’s been said that over 90% of employees who accept counter offers; leave within the year.
They could now be earning more than similar members of the team.
As an employer, you have lost that “loving feeling” or may not feel as trusting.
It’s important to evaluate all of the above and the culture of our company before proceeding.
How can you prevent a prospective employee from accepting a counter offer with their present employer?
As already mentioned, RPM does our utmost to manage this component throughout the process. However, as a hiring manager, you need to do your best to also prevent this. In our present, uncertain times; candidates are reluctant to leave what they feel is a secure environment. Accordingly, you need to be certain that you are doing your best in letting them know why working for you and your company is their next best step. Accordingly, when making an offer – you need to make an offer that is better than where a candidate presently is. Whether that’s a better salary, a better future, a better culture, better work/life balance – it’s important to try and find what makes your prospective employee tick.
Additionally, you could even ask them during the interviewing process – what would you do if your present employer tries to keep you?
Should we accept counter offers? During my career, I accepted one and I turned one down. Both situations were very stressful and anxious times. (I did finally leave the company that I had stayed with and was unhappy with myself that I had stayed.) However, if there is some reason that leads you to look at another job, you should think long and hard before saying “yes” to a counter offer. This can be a regret you have later in your career path – “what if I had changed jobs???”
Counter offers are fraught with difficulties. In a perfect world, we would not have to deal with these as our employees would love their jobs. We love our jobs – or we don’t.
We all know there is no perfect world.
Sometimes you have to really listen to your gut and do your utmost to mitigate any regrets.