Twice in the past few months I have had the pleasure of being the protagonist behind candidates getting their ideal job role, then turning it down. This was as a result of a counter offer with their current employer, which was disappointing for my clients and myself. The disappointing part for the candidate came just weeks later in one instance and months in the other, both coming back expressing their dismay that what was promised was not delivered.
Employers value their staff, that’s what every company espouses, but never more so than when an outstanding performer is looking to move on. In these instances, they are compelled to try and keep them within the business, offering everything including the kitchen sink and offering to change the business or role to suit their requirements. Where the employer is left with a matter of hours to make strategic decisions that would usually take months of thought and planning, it invariably is not in the best interests of the business or the employee.
Alterations to responsibilities or business structure are important decisions requiring thought and planning and input from internal and external stakeholders. Very soon afterwards, the employer is left feeling as though they had a gun put to their head to make a strategic decision that was not in the best interests of the business and that they had not had adequate time to consider. The candidate is left fighting against an ingrained structure and an unfulfilled promise of change in the immediate timeframe.
In essence, counter offers are in nobody’s best interest. There will always be the exceptions to this rule, but those will be where the plans had already been set in motion, the business was already in a position to adapt and change to facilitate what they are willing to offer their employee. Employers, employees, think before you look at a counter offer. A resignation is an emotional time for everyone involved but business is about strategic thinking. Is it worthwhile to change a business structure to facilitate one employee? Is it worth feeling let down should your employer not be able to provide the change that they promised you?