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“Counter Offers and why they drive me insane!”

Posted in career-advice

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

If you read no other blog of mine I am begging you to read this one. Read, inwardly digest and bear in mind throughout your careers.

First of all, let’s deal with the elephant in the room; employment agencies are paid fees for the placement of candidates in jobs, so yes we want all our candidates to accept the roles offered. We are a business and that is what pays our salaries BUT (and this is a very big BUT) despite the fact we offer a free service to you, YOU are still our client.. just as much as the company who pays the bill, so if you think we want you to take a job that is not right for you, a job you don’t want, then you are very much mistaken… here at ALEXANDER HANCOCK with 30 plus years in the business, we go beyond targets and sales. We want you to be happy in your next role. If you don’t want a job, turn it down, it’s okay we will find you something else, no problem at all. Go take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. All of the directors here are at the “self-actualisation” level.. we do this job because we want to be the best we can be, to do the very best for our candidates, and give a service that is just the very best it can be… if we make a few bob along the way, so much the better BUT we don’t do what we do for the fee.. so, now that’s dealt with.

Now I want to deal with Reasons for Leaving.  This is the single most important question we ask you, why do you want to leave your job? Money? Well, it is a common reason BUT not the most popular. New challenge? Again popular but again not No.1.. nope THE most popular REAL REASON FOR LEAVING is YOU want to be respected/be valued by your employer… even when candidates say money, if you ask them what salary they are looking for they say “ I will move for the same” adding “to be honest, I just don’t feel valued by my company any longer”.

Now here is a question for you.. Have you ever told your employer how you feel? When you have your appraisal or review are you aware this is a two way process? Not just about your yearly pay rise but an actual opportunity for you to say, “I would like to discuss with you the fact that although I love my job, the people I am working with, the stress I am under etc etc would it be possible for me to be told when I am doing a good job? That would make me feel more valued and motivated to continue to do well”, or “What plans do you have for my future? I am ambitious to progress in the future so where do you see my career going?”

And don’t tell me it’s scary, we are all big enough and grown up enough to have children, drink, drive, buy a home, go to jail etc etc so we are all big enough to ask a manager a reasonable and fair question. And once you have asked those questions and IF you don’t get the response you are looking for, THEN you need to start looking for another job. THAT is when we become a crucial part of your search, NOT before as once you are with us we will go and find you that new role and then this happens….

YOU will have to use up your holiday entitlement to attend interviews. YOU will have to deal with the stress of going through the process. YOU will inevitably have to deal with some rejection when unsuccessful and YOU will have the sense of achievement when you are offered and eventually, YOU will have to deal with the stress of handing in your notice. It is a scary process, and let’s not even start talking about being the new boy/girl when you get the job! (Another blog for another day!)

We will work very hard to find you the right job, organise everything, coach, mentor and support you through the process, negotiate on your behalf and make sure we find you the right job, but YOU have to do the real hard stuff.

The potential new employer, in the meantime, will hate recruiting (everyone hates recruitment except us) but will have set aside time in their hugely busy day to read multiple applications, select you from that mass, then yet more time to interview and finally when the offer is made, deal with all the time consuming administration involved in setting up a new starter.  Painful necessity to make their team stronger, the company more profitable and the business more successful, but a proactive process all the same.

But once that has all been done… YOU have to go in and hand in your notice and guess what? Your employer undergoes a reactive process and realises “bugger, I am going to have to re-recruit, re-train, pay more, use an agency, pay them a fee, bugger bugger bugger.. I know what I will do, I will chuck a couple of grand at them, promise them whatever they want and they will stay, will save me a whole heap of time, effort and money on my part, and that will keep them quiet for another year”.

That is what companies ALWAYS think when they counter offer. They DO NOT, EVER EVER EVER think, “do not want to lose this valuable member of staff”.  And I mean, EVER… BECAUSE IF THEY DID THEY WOULD HAVE LISTENED TO YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. They know when you are going on an interview, (trust me we employers always do), you have told them what you need and want to remain motivated and happy, and even if you have not said anything have they not seen your unhappiness??? AND THEY HAVE IGNORED YOU.

I know that is very harshly put, and I am sorry but at my age, I have decided to call a spade a spade. YOU ARE A VALUABLE WORTHWHILE EMPLOYEE. We thought so because we recommended you to our client, who are only interested in us supplying them the best candidate, so YOU ARE THE BEST! Your new employer thinks so! Why else would they want you on their team? AND YOU know so too, otherwise you would have continued to sit underpaid, undervalued and de-motivated until you were due to retire. The only people who didn’t realise this were your current employers.

And if you do stay, which is absolutely your prerogative and which we respect (through gritted teeth I will warrant you!)…let me give you some stats from my 30 years in recruitment; 95% of all candidates who stay in their original role as a result of a counter offer come back and say; “Nothing changed”, “Biggest mistake I made not taking the job you got for me” “None of the promises they made me came to fruition” and finally “Will you help me again?” which we always will, I promise.

So this is my advice; yep I know it is scary moving companies and we would all like to be in a job that we loved for life, that gave us everything we wanted in terms of money, motivation and progression but utopia is not where we live. SO, ask the questions of your current employer. A really decent employer will not only respect you for asking they will WANT to make work worthwhile for you, will WANT happy staff; it increases productivity for one and makes work a great place to be.. and you will never ever need to come in and see us…which is good right?