Recently, a candidate approached me to help him find a new job. The company that he was currently working for was cutting back his responsibility level and his take-home pay was dwindling. The candidate, “Bob”, knew that the company was in bad financial health.
I liked Bob. Thought he was a great candidate to market. So, I worked on his resume, tweaking it to perfection. Coached him on interviewing. And once he was all polished and ready for presenting, I began marketing him to some hiring authorities. Got a hit! A client company was looking to hire and was very interested in Bob’s qualifications. My client was very thankful that I called them about Bob’s candidacy and the first interview was scheduled, lickety-split. After three interviews completed, Bob was given a super offer. How smooth was that? Wait. There’s more!!
Bob called me the next morning. He declined the offer. What the heck? You got it. DECLINED. And here is why:
The failing company that Bob felt strongly was going close operations any day, came back to Bob with a counter-offer. The offer was, in Bob’s words, “Too good to be true.” Tripled his salary, plus a cash bonus of $5k. Bob drank the Kool-aide and accepted the deal. When I asked Bob the most obvious question, “Where did they get all of this money to pay you that salary, not to mention the bonus?” He replied, “They re-worked some of the numbers and *snap* found they could pay me more.” The snap sound was my neck popping.
Lesson learned: I should have prepared for this on day one. Alas, my failure to do so really cost my client a lot of time and effort. I am disappointed in myself, but ready to make it right with my client. Already I have sourced two candidates for the position Bob declined to accept. All better.
Here’s what I know: This is the last time I will make that mistake. Going forward, here is what I want you to know:
1). Before you resign from your current position, arm yourself with reality. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you were looking for a job in the first place. Lofty promises and cash thrown at you will never change the fact that the reason you were looking to change jobs still exists. And,
2). Your employer now sees you as a disloyal member of the team. You lost any at-a-boys collected with past achievements because you looked for a job on company time. You focused your time and energy on interviewing while being paid to work. Traitor! You are scum. And, more importantly
3). However long it takes your current boss to find your replacement is how ever long you have left at the company. That is a promise. You are no longer in control of your career destiny.
Bottom line, counter-offers are 95% empty attempts to “band-aide” the situation. You are being bribed to stay. And by staying, you provide the company plenty of time to find your replacement. Trust me, they will use the time wisely and probably will find a BETTER you. Then you, dahling, will be summarily fired without that sweet two-week notice you were prepared to give.
If you are that concerned about taking the counter, ask yourself this, “Why didn’t you get that kinda cash/promise before looking for another job?”
Maybe I will post again when Bob calls me saying that the “too-good-to-be-true” counter-offer was just that…too good to be true. Maybe not. I need to move on. *smile*