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A counteroffer can ruin the day but is it avoidable.

By Chuck LaBenski – Co founder

There is nothing like putting a 20k deal on the board. You worked so hard to earn that fee but before the chalk dust settles you get the dreaded call. “I just handed in my resignation and my boss made me an offer I can’t refuse. I am going to stay where I am.” At this point everyone loses. You lose the fee. Your clients loses a hire, and the candidate loses his new job in a few months or less. That is right. The candidate loses too. The current employer makes a counter offer because they need to gain back control. They are just buying themselves time to regroup and decide what is best for the company, not the disloyal employee that just handed in their resignation. A company can make the resigning employee an attractive offer because it will not really cost them anything when they fire them in a few months or less. The company can promise the employee 50k more a year but if they only have to pay the increased salary for a month or two what does it really cost them.

Since everyone loses and we are the professionals it is up to us to educate our clients and candidate sabout the pitfalls of a counter offer. The time to address a counter offer with a candidate is during the first interview. They don’t have to take your word for it. There are hundreds of websites and blogs covering the disadvantages of taking a counter offer. Make sure you keep discussing counter offers to the very end of the process through offer presentation. When presenting the offer say one more time, “Now remember, you gave me your word that when you give your notice you will not be accepting a counter offer.”  I make sure the candidate is 100% on board. I tell the candidate if you accept this offer I will need to let the other candidates know that the position is filled and I do not like to do so unless your mind is 100% made up.

You also need to speak with the client about counter offers. The most important thing a client can do to avoid counter offers is to allow you to make the offers. You are the professional and you have control of the situation. The last thing you need is for the client to give the candidate the offer and tell them they have a week to decide. That gives their current employer a week to get their crap together. The first thing the current employer will say is how long do you have to decide on the offer. They will use that time to persuade the candidate to stay.

A counteroffer can ruin the day, month, and year. It is avoidable. Be proactive with your clients and candidates and your bad days will decrease drastically.

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