Candidate Tip – What to do when your employer begs you to stay?

Candidate Tip - What to do when an Employer begs you to stay.png

You’ve just recently resigned and now your boss calls a meeting and wants to discuss why you’re leaving.  This is one of the most awkward conversations you’ll ever have and based on our years of experience helping hundreds of executives coast to coast and internationally, here are a few recommendations and observations.

It is our belief that there is very little upside in it for you to accept a counter offer to stay.

We recommend keeping these two principles in mind in the days following your resignation especially if you’re scheduled for a meeting to discuss your departure.

Don’t disclose the salary you’re being offered by the other company. Otherwise you are giving your boss the ammunition to offer you a short-term solution to their problem.

Remind them of what you put in your resignation letter. We recommend that you have the document with you with the words that go something like this:

 “My decision is final – I’ve decided to accept an offer with a new employer and I’ve appreciated the time I’ve worked here.

Ask your boss this key question:

What can I do to make the new person comfortable in my old role?  I will do everything in the next two weeks to help train them?

This will show that you’re a team player and that you care, it’s the ultimate way to show them that you are committed to them until your last day.

When resigning it’s always best not to look back on that decision or show any lack of commitment.

Other Transition phrases:

  1. I’ve made a decision not to look back on my decision to leave.

  2. I’m willing to help transition someone new into my position and ensure a smooth transition.

  3. It’s been an honor working at ( ) for the past (____) years and I’ve enjoyed my time with the company and will miss my team members”.

Companies and Bosses go into panic mode.

They quickly offer you better incentives, like more money or a job promotion–but as enticing as the counteroffer may be, most career experts say you shouldn’t accept.

If you your boss does propose a counteroffer, you’ll have to weigh the risks and benefits, and determine what the best decision is for you.

Let’s face it “While it’s flattering to be so sought-after, it’s probably not worth the risk in most cases,” to accept a counter-offer.

Consider the reason you were looking for a new job in the first place.

  1. Was it only about money?

  2. What about the new challenge, new colleagues, a new corporate culture, or flexibility at work?

  3. Here is the big one?  Why did they wait until now to take the time to sit down with you to address any concerns or to attempt to flatter you with a new position or title?

  4. One other reason it might not be a smart move to accept the counteroffer: You’d burn two bridges at once.

  5. We have found that “the other organization would be unlikely to ever look at hiring you again.

  6. We also have found that often times your current employer will question your motives (and the relationship may quickly sour, resulting in a need for you to conduct another search)

Depending how much people talk who you are connected with…you may gain a reputation as a “counteroffer” king or queen and someone who is not decisive.

Employers want a short- term fix.

We have also found that many employers’ and specifically the bosses will panic and they want you to stick around long enough to find a replacement, and paying a little extra now is worth it in terms of keeping the train moving, versus the potential delays and issues that would arise from an empty manager role.

Here is why it can be dangerous for the executive. Once the crisis is over and they have retained you with a short-term fix, they may view you as disloyal and never trust you again.

Research shows that most companies view people who have resigned and accepted a counter offer as a flight risk and will keep you around long enough to find a replacement.  To them paying a little extra short term is worth it in a tight employment market.

Remember this key thing:

  • While it’s flattering to be so sought-after, it’s probably not worth the risk in most cases.

  • We believe there is very little upside in it for you.

  • Why did your current employer wait till you resigned to call this meeting?

I hope this Blog helps you if you find yourself facing this inevitable meeting. Remember, your resignation may have caught your employer off guard. They may have had the impression you were well placed and happy.

I am always encouraging clients to have informal meeting at least semi-annually to just talk about career pathing. Turnover can be avoided with great open communication and dialogue.  Too often companies don’t know they have an employee who was not happy…until they are staring at a resignation letter.

Blog Post by: Bill O’Malley, Chief Recruiting Officer at Connector Team Recruiting.  Connector Team is recognized by leaders and leading consultants as the premier search firm in the Furniture | Appliance and Sleep vertical space. Connector Team is an affiliate office of MRINETWORK recently ranked in the Top 10 in Recruitment Firms by Forbes Magazine.