Considering Counteroffers

  • Posted by: Chaloner

This week’s blog post is written by Chaloner’s Alanna Miller, who joined the NY Chaloner office this summer. Alanna has an extensive marketing background and a deep commitment to creating a seamless experience for her clients and candidates. She moved into executive search in 2013 to build out the marketing and communications practice of a rapidly-growing contingent firm, with a focus on professional and financial services clients. Alanna is also the author of Stuff Every Woman Should Know (2010, Quirk Books), a pocket-sized reference book for women of all ages.

I spoke with Slate about counteroffers recently. Counteroffers are an often-visited topic in recruitment, in part because the circumstances that inspire a counteroffer can vary from person to person. A job search is already a stressful process; a counteroffer can heighten that. I’ve been both the candidate and the recruiter in a counteroffer situation at various points in my career and putting aside the statistics of how counteroffers turn out, it’s an emotionally charged scenario for everyone involved.

Not seeing your career and job search through an emotional lens would be a superhuman feat. You’ve put in years with a company, felt loyal, worked hard, made friends, and experienced personal highs and lows with the people in that environment. At some point you may have stopped feeling challenged, started feeling under-appreciated, or wanted a change, and you made the decision to leave.

But what happens when you’re presented with a counteroffer? It’s natural to feel conflicted or tempted: change is hard, so the opportunity to stay right where you are while getting all of the things you wanted sounds extremely appealing. But this is only the appropriate approach is your dissatisfaction in your role is solely financial. As I told Slate, give thought ahead of the time to the circumstances under which you’d stay- if there are any.

If you’re at a loss for what to say when presented with a counteroffer, start by being polite: thank them for the offer, and tell them you’ll take it into consideration. Before your thoughts start to spiral, here are some great questions to ask yourself that can help cut through the emotional clutter. It can also be helpful to speak with someone you trust. If your friends have listened to you complain about feeling stagnant in your job for the past seven months, they should be able to provide some no-nonsense perspective on why a better title and a 6% raise won’t be the answer you’re looking for.