Prepare all candidates for the likelihood of receiving a counter-offer when they tender their resignation from their current employer. Determine if counter-offers have been common at their current employer and ask them to describe to you why or why not they would entertain a counter-offer.
The following points should be discussed during this conversation with the candidate:
- The increased money, title or responsibilities do not offset the true reason why you want to leave. After you stay (ie: 6 months down the road), you are often confronted with the same things that made you want to leave. You are still unhappy, though paid more.
- Your boss now knows you are unhappy and were going to leave. This may expose you if a layoff were to come or you may be at higher risk of losing your job since they don’t feel you are committed (and they may do a confidential search to replace you).
- Your manager is really the one affected most, because he or she will probably need to replace you and the work will be put on the manager’s shoulders until that happens. He or she will put the emotional “squeeze” on you and play with your emotions to get you to stay. They often make promises that are not kept!
- The equity position with our clients (if it is more than they have now) is often times worth much more in the long run than the counter offer.
Emphasize that counter offers almost never “work.” If the person was that valuable, why didn’t the company address the above issues earlier?