While our first article focused on the hiring company, there are things to keep in mind as a candidate, particularly when it comes to navigating the counteroffer situation. You’ve gone through the interview process, receive an offer and are excited to join a new company.
Now you need to give notice. The response you receive may be that you are too valuable to lose and that a counteroffer is being prepared. It might incorporate more money, additional responsibility or a different focus within the organization. Sure, it sounds nice. It’s quite flattering. But should you take it? In the current market, employers are working hard to retain their talent.
This is the healthiest the market has been since the financial crisis; employers are now in a position to hire, and likewise more individuals are exploring new opportunities. It’s hard to leave a company, especially if you’ve been therefor several years and/or developed friendships with co-workers.
Leaving something familiar can be uncomfortable,and the unknown can pose a risk. You may have considered this while you were interviewing with your new company, but now a decision must be made.As you consider any counteroffer, keep the following questions and points in mind:
What prompted you to start looking in the first place?
Were you feeling underpaid? Were you hoping for a promotion? Maybe you were looking to gain experience in a new area. It’s always best to go back to the beginning and remember what initially prompted you to look outside of your organization, and how your new role helps satisfy those goals. If your employer is offering you a new role, is it something you’ve really been interested in doing?
If you are so valuable to your employer, why, only now that you’ve given notice, are they are offering you more? And, if you take their offer now, what does it mean for your career progression at the company and further opportunities for advancement?
Know why companies make counteroffers.
You may receive a counteroffer from your employer because they truly value you as an employee; however, you should know a few other reasons as well. Having an employee leave may not look good for the manager or department. Perhaps they can’t afford to go through the lengthy hiring process this time of year. Maybe you are the only person who knows how to do the work you do – this certainly makes you an important piece of the puzzle but are you being pigeonholed?
Now they know.
Before you gave notice, your search was confidential. Now, your manager knows and some co-workers may as well. If you accept the counteroffer, they may be relieved at first to have you stay, but they will remember that you were looking elsewhere. This may not result in a direct consequence, at least initially, but it could come up during discussions of layoffs and factor into whether or not they extend a promotion or raise in the future.
You’ve given your word.
A counteroffer is usually put on the table once you’ve given notice. Keep in mind that at this stage, you’ve already committed to the new company whether it’s through verbal acceptance or a signed offer letter. Feeling loyal to your current group is certainly understandable, but if you stay, now you’re backing out of an agreement you’ve already made. Ultimately, you may decide to stay with your employer, but think about your future. If, in a year or so, you want to start looking at external opportunities again, your chances with this company a second time around are fairly slim, not to mention potentially with other companies given the close-knit nature of the Actuarial community.
Our recommendation is to look at both offers as if each was from a new company, and to avoid making any hasty oremotionally charged decisions, either way. Try to compare each role objectively, keeping in mind the talking points outlined above and genuinely considering the big picture. Again, you may ultimately decide to stay put but at least all angles have been considered.