The counteroffer is back and badder than ever | ESP IT The counteroffer is back and badder than ever | ESP IT


The counteroffer is back and badder than ever

It’s a hot market for IT consultants and direct hire candidates, which means the counteroffer is back in full force. Companies are hiring again and qualified IT professionals are in high demand, often receiving several competitive offers. When one of these technology professionals resigns from her current company, the company realizes what they are about to lose and desperately (or sometimes only halfheartedly) tries to keep the employee on.
When you’ve reached the point of a counteroffer, you’re already in a lose/lose situation for employer and employee.  The employee has decided he no longer wants to work for his company or in his role. If the employer doesn’t recognize this, they should. Now is not the time to re-negotiate.
As an employee: should you take a counteroffer?
As someone who has searched for and accepted a new role, you’ve already put in the effort to obtain a better job.  Most likely, money wasn’t the only reason you were looking, and you’ll be happier if you stick to your decision.  Keep this in mind:
Your company has made you a counteroffer because they don’t want to lose you—but did they recognize this risk before you told them you were leaving?  What makes you worth more today, than yesterday?
No matter what they say, they are not considering your needs and career growth; they are protecting themselves from the time and resources they would lose, in losing you. It’s cheaper for them to offer you a raise now, and then never raise your salary again, then to have to spend time and money looking for your replacement.
Or, they may just want to put your exit on their timeline.  What’s to say they won’t look for your replacement once they’ve made the counteroffer, no longer viewing you as a loyal employee?  They can buy themselves some time by keeping you. Meanwhile, you lose the new position and will need to start over again in your search if that employer lets you go.
As an employer: should you make a counteroffer?
As an employer who has received a letter of resignation, why would you try to keep this employee? Sure, in the immediate future, retaining this employee is your cheapest option. But…
You already know the employee is half way out the door.  Most likely her dissatisfaction is with more than just salary; while money and new perks may help you hang onto the employee for a while, in a few months she will probably look for something new again.
By making a counteroffer, you’re setting a precedent that may cause other employees to threaten to leave in hopes of a counteroffer in return.
If you are thinking about buying yourself some time–think about the impression that gives to the rest of your employees. If they get wind of what’s happened (you counteroffered and then let an employee go once you found his replacement), they will probably trust and respect you less, and may actually start to look for new roles themselves.
How do you minimize the risk of an employee leaving? With the high demand for technology professionals, it is important that managers ensure their employees are earning a competitive wage, and are satisfied in their work and environment. You can’t guarantee an employee won’t look for other work, but it is a good idea to think about ways to minimize the threat.
The bottom line is that a counteroffer is never a good thing for an employee or employer. As a company, cut your losses and move on.  As an employee, take the new, better job you were looking for and enjoy it.


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