If another organization found your skills, personality, background and profile appealing, there is a good chance that your current organization recognizes those same qualities. In today’s tight labor market, organizations cannot routinely afford to lose an “A” player. So, their initial reaction frequently is to make a counter-offer.
Humor us as we illustrate this in reverse…see if this helps crystallize a point that should be well understood.
Suppose you have spent weeks interviewing for a position to find out the wonderful news that you were selected for it. Graciously, you accept the offer, resign, and start working out your final weeks of employment with your current employer. Then your phone rings, and you hear the bad news. The client (your supposedly new employer) had an “A” player employee from another department contact them about your position and they know he/she is a superstar who would be perfect for the job they had offered you. They’re genuinely regretful, but they had to go with the internal candidate who has accepted an offer to fill the role internally. In fact, he/she has already started in the role, and the company is going to withdraw their offer of employment to you in-lieu of the internal employee.
In your fury you wonder, ‘How can they do this to me? I have made plans — I have already resigned from my position — I have already set things in motion in anticipation of starting my new job — I would never consider working for that company again!’
Back to reality. The real question is not whether your employer’s motives are genuine, temporary, or simply reactionary. More important to ask is, ‘Are their actions actually relevant to the decision YOU already made?’
We don’t want to insult your intelligence, and we have no intention of scaring you with false statistics and various theories about the dangers of accepting a counter-offer. The bottom line is that while counter-offers can be flattering, they do typically initiate the beginning of the end, and how you handle the situation tells everyone involved a great deal about your leadership/managerial style, decision making ability, and most importantly your principles.
The key is doing your due-diligence in the beginning, asking yourself the tough questions beforehand and making a firm, resolute business decision to stay where you are currently or to move on in your career. Once you have decided, stand firm on your decision and do not second guess yourself.
Talk to your Lykor Account Executive candidly about this subject at the beginning of the search process, and make sure you understand the potential career-threatening risks and high-stakes rewards for doing the right thing.