Nothing is more frustrating for a recruiter or hiring company than a candidate accepting a counteroffer. Weeks, sometimes months, of time goes into screening and meeting potential candidates before planning the start of a new employee’s tenure and in one fell swoop all that hard work can be thrown out of the window and it’s back to the drawing board.
While I try to be impartial and see things from perspectives of other people, this is one thing that I have always struggled to get my head around. I should clarify that I’m speaking in broad strokes – as with most things in life there are exceptions to every rule, but people still accept counteroffers. It occurs most often in candidate short markets where the battle for talent is fierce. Companies realise too late that they are about to lose integral team members and do whatever they can to keep them. Things like offering higher salaries, promotions and even flexible working for example.
Now I could sit here and list a lot of statistics that back up the argument I’m making but instead I will talk about the one question I would ask myself if I was ever to consider a counteroffer; what happens moving forward?
Sure, they’ve given me a pay rise, shiny new job title, some new resources or tools, offered me better work/life balance and maybe they have even promised things will be different. But how long will this last for? Surely, the fact that I had to quit and essentially force my employer’s hand speaks volumes about how I’m perceived by them? If you’re convinced your employer is a saint of a human being, then more power to you. However, most people don’t like being forced to make decisions. They feel as though they’ve been wronged and that opens a whole other can of worms – will this affect promotions moving forward? Have they simply papered over the cracks? Will they manage me out once they’ve found a replacement that’s cheaper? Can my employer and I still trust one another?
This last question is the most important. As with any relationship, no matter how personal or professional, once the trust is gone – it’s over.
Most of the candidates that I work with are in touch with me for two reasons - they either believe there may be better opportunities on the market, or they are frustrated in their current role. Particularly to those people in the latter camp generally fall into this category because their style of working does not match their line managers which causes them difficulty to do their job without dealing with high levels of stress. If this is your situation and you go out to the market and find an opportunity which matches what you’re looking for – do yourself a favour, take that leap of faith and refuse to accept a counteroffer.
I work on the commercial desk at GKR and typically recruit Quantity Surveyors, Commercial Managers, Project Managers and Technical/Design professionals for developers, contractors and consultancies. Get in touch with me today to discuss hiring new team members or job opportunities.