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Why You Should NEVER Accept a Counter Offer

If You’re Thinking About Entertaining a Counter Offer, THINK AGAIN!

For the sake of this article I’m going to assume you know how to qualify your candidates from the first moment you speak to them until they’ve signed the offer letter and started. I’m going to assume you’ve been communicating effectively with them through every step of the process and have been asking quality questions to ensure you’re not getting “sunshine blown up your skirt”. Of course there’s nothing 100% foolproof and guaranteed, but good methods of pre-qualifying candidates regarding counter offers will make your life less stressful and more financially rewarding. In addition, if you are authentic in your qualifying methods you may even weed out candidates that would accept a counter offer and possibly leave you and your client hanging.

Considering a counteroffer? Don’t do it!

First, I know the word “never” is strong. I don’t use it lightly or without substantial consideration as my world, both personal and professional, is gray. In the case of a counter offer, I believe accepting one is positive in a very small fraction of cases and not worth the risk. It can be career suicide.

I’m so flattered

A counter offer may be both tempting and flattering to a candidate. It may be very appealing to a candidate who isn’t truly committed to leaving his job. I have known people who accepted counter offers and, most often, they regret their actions. Recruiters must resist the temptation to persuade your candidates into accepting your client’s offer if you have even the slightest hint that the position in question isn’t the right fit. It’s can be hard for some recruiters, especially if they’re working contingently and depending on acceptance to make a living. People frequently buy on emotion, and enticing a candidate to take an offer (or the current company getting their employee to accept a counter offer) by getting him excited and hopeful is just plain out of integrity. Temptation can be very seductive and hard to resist. As George Bernard Shaw said, “I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.”

Real reasons not to accept a counter offer

The current employer is attempting to cover their tush. When you quit they lose money. When you quit the manager looks bad. Better for them to keep you on board until they can find a replacement. If that happens your pink slip will follow in short order.
You become a fidelity risk to your current employer. You’ve threatened to quit once. It’s only a matter of time before you do it again and smart companies won’t allow themselves to be put into this situation. You will never be perceived the same to them once you’ve threatened to quit and decided to stay.
Any situation which causes an employee to seek outside offers is suspect. For example, if money is your issue why does it take a full court press for your employer to realize they need to pay you more? If you’re worth more money now, why weren’t you worth it 15 minutes prior to giving notice?
The reasons for you wanting to quit will still remain, even if they are temporarily shaded.
Quality, well run companies won’t give counter offers…ever! How would you feel if one of your employees forced you into something? “If you don’t do X, then I’m quitting.” I know I’d be angry. I’d be more than angry. If they don’t like working for you then they should go.
If you do get the urge to accept a counter offer, just be prepared for the consequences whenever they do show up.

Creator and Host,

Carol Schultz

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