As the war for talent becomes hand-to-hand combat, counter-offers are becoming commonplace. If you are part of the small fraction in your specialization that produces extraordinary results, keeps your skills up-to-date and plays nicely in the sandbox, you should expect to receive a counter-offer eventually.
The counter-offer occurs when you submit your resignation to your current employer to peruse another career opportunity, and your current employer tries to keep you onboard. The tactics used in counter-offers sited by careerjournal.com range from:
• Pay increases
• New responsibilities
• Different reporting structures
Change is difficult; staying at a company where you know everyone is easy. If your boss is telling you how valuable you are and how the company just can’t afford to lose you, it is too easy to believe every word you’re being fed.
Even if your current employer steps up to the plate and follows through on all the promises made during the counter-offer (yeah, right), things will never be the same at work. You are now a traitor. Once an employer knows you looked elsewhere for employment, your future at the company is far less bright. You are often perceived as a short-timer or as someone whom may be bought.
Beyond implications from your current employer, you burn serious bridges with the new prospective employer. If they were expecting for you to put in your resignation and start next Monday, they will often let all the other leading candidates for the position know. In turn, you are perceived as flaky and they are in a serious pickle.
The National Business Employment Weekly (a newspaper covering available business opportunities and career information affiliated with the Wall Street Journal) reports that four out of five professionals who accept counter-offers are gone within the year. Sometimes on their own accord, other times they are terminated by their employer just months later.
If you’re ready to leave your current position at your company, the reasons are rarely just compensation. A fat raise procured from a counter-offer can’t resolve all the other issues that forced you to look for a new career in the first place.
Be prepared for a counter-offer before you submit your resignation. Go into your boss’ office with your resignation letter in-hand, and just say no.
Posted by Christy H.