Counteroffer Acceptance – Road to Career Ruin.

Remember that one? It was standard procedure back in the old days to send each candidate a copy of an article originally printed in The Wall Street Journal. In fact I still remember the stack of copies in the old forms file. Every candidate got one. Always.

Counteroffer Acceptance is an excellent article put together by Paul Hawkinson of The Fordyce Letter from years ago. I still use it to this day.

Over the years I’ve remained keenly aware that counteroffers DO happen. Frequently. As a recruiter with a vested interest in helping each candidate through their professional transition it is important that I address the topic with everyone I work with.

I’ve learned one VERY valuable principal. If I do my job correctly I am usually able to pre-empt what might have been a successful attempt at getting my candidate to rethink his/her decision. The key? Make absolutely sure you are talking to them about it BEFORE it happens. If done correctly – when the C.O. comes – it should be a CONFIRMATION of everything you have discussed. You see – if your candidate knows it’s coming – and are properly prepared for it – they will see it for what it really is: a way for their manager to stall off the inevitable until THEY are prepared to replace them on THEIR schedule.

What I have found is very simple really. Cover it BEFORE it happens – then you are helping them prepare for what most likely is going to occur. If you do not – and are bushwhacked mid-stream – you are going to most definitely sound like a recruiter who is then just trying to make sure they do not lose a fee. You will then be what many candidates think already – a recruiter only interested in your next fee.

My discussions with candidates about counter offers are very “matter of fact”. This IS going to happen. These are the reasons WHY. When the boss hits them with the love, attention and promotion they’ve been missing – make sure they see it as nothing less than a slap in the face!

If covered correctly – when the C.O. comes – it will be proof that what YOU discussed is in fact the truth. Prepare them for it.


Also posted on my personal blog here with a link to the original a...

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Yep...my recruiting career sucked until I figured out I needed to be proactive about covering stuff like this.

On another note - I've been dumb enough to accept a counteroffer..it stands as just about the costliest thing I've ever done to myself.. I can attest that they are the road to ruin..

So, as jerry says, look out for your candidates and cover this sooner rather than later.

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