The curse of the Job aka Counter Offer seeker…..

The curse of the Job aka Counter Offer seeker…..
The “counter offer”, feared by some employers but sought after by some employees. If you are the employee involved in this situation the key thing is to remain a professional during this process to both your current employer, potential new employer and the recruiter (whether internal or external) who has no doubt worked tirelessly to assist you in achieving a new job offer that you had told them when you registered that you had wanted.
As a job/counter offer seeker, whether you have pro-actively started your own job search or you have been approached and temped to move by a recruiter, you need to work out if you even want to leave your current employer and more importantly understand all the reasons as to why you want to leave?
Being that job/counter offer seeker who is using the recruitment process or even worse using the services of a recruitment professional in order to obtain a pay rise from their current employer is not an advised option.
It is far easier and highly recommended that you first speak to your current employer and put your case forward to them as to why you want and feel deserved of a pay rise/ benefits review/opportunity to progress, way before the job seeking process even starts.
Why is it not advised I hear you ask? You may feel the job market is a big place, and yes the UK wide employment sector is extensive, but if you are seeking a new job within a fairly local geographical area to where you currently work/live or within a niche sector you need to think before you act.  Using the job seeking process as leverage to obtain a pay rise may come back to haunt you at some point in your future career.
In business (and life), “it is key to treat everyone and every meeting opportunity with respect and an open mind, the person you are speaking to might not be of direct assistance but will no doubt be connected to someone that you need to know either now or in the future”.
Valuable advice indeed, so why do employers fall for the “counter offer” situation when faced with a member of their team resigning (aka being held to ransom in some cases), frankly recruiting a new member of staff versus retaining an existing one is expensive, from both a time and financial point of view. Sadly an employer who has been cornered into offering a pay rise just may well do so to save further expense and time, particularly when replacing niche skills and experience, which could prove difficult if in short supply. Equally some employers may take your “resigning for a pay rise” personally, especially if they feel their offering to you is already competitive, maybe even generous given your input, resulting in no counter offer and a very awkward resignation period on your part.
It is worth considering what your current employer will think of you as an individual for doing this to them, will them increasing your salary after being cornered into doing so add more pressure to your day to day working life? Will it damage your credibility and/or integrity? Will you be seen you in a different light? Also to consider is what if you are still unhappy after receiving more money to stay?
As a fan of honesty being the best policy and as good practice I will suggest to job seekers that I work with, citing “extra income” as a reason for leaving, that before I will do anything for them they should speak to their current employer.  At least by asking the question before they have taken paid time off for interviews, they can feel safe in the knowledge that there is nothing their current employer can do, so now they are mentally and credibly free to start looking for a new job.
If you are fortunate to be in receipt of a pay/job review, before seeking a new job, you will have some time to decide if the extra money is making a difference to how you feel about the workplace/your work colleagues/the job you are employed to do/the commute to and from etc?  As if it doesn’t then now really is the right time to look to partner with a quality recruitment professional who will find the right employer for you.
Several years ago a national survey was carried out by a national plc recruitment business that found of all employees who upon resigning had received and accepted a pay rise to stay, that 70% of them still went on to leave over the following 6 months but under far less amiable conditions.
Money may make the world go round but being happy, valued and progressed in your day to day working life is absolutely essential to being a fulfilled working human being. 
And remember that if you are already well into the job seeking process and in receipt of a brand new job offer from a prospective employer, who feels that they have done everything in their power to secure you, that if you then turn this job offer down and stay where you are, that bridge could well be burnt for the future.  Ask yourself will you regret this decision in 6 months’ time as 70% of your fellow counter offer seekers have?
Make the right decision at the right time for you and for your employer, else karma may come full circle….

Samantha Carroll - Managing Director - Clearcut Recruitment 

Clearcut Recruitment is an honest, straight forward and independent recruitment agency based in St Albans, Hertfordshire and London.

We recruit for permanent, temporary and contract based jobs, specialising within Human Resources (all levels) and office support - PAs, receptionists, sales, marketing, finance, customer services, projects, EAs, secretaries, events, facilities, office managers to name a few.