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Navigating the counter offer

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Navigating the counter offer

‘Talent shortage’ and ‘Tight talent market’ are just some of the terms that are common place in the current market. With the current unemployment rate sitting at 3.2%, the lowest it’s ever been, if you are looking for a job there are opportunities out there, and if you are an experienced candidate you are likely to get counter offered.

Below we explore some crucial aspects to consider from both the perspective of a candidate and an employer as you navigate through the counter-offer process.

The Candidates perspective

As a candidate at the outset of looking for a new job ask yourself the question: ‘Would I stay here if I was offered more money?’ Consider aspects of the role like the company culture, the clients, the type of work, growth opportunities and even the commute. If all these aspects align, but you feel undervalued in terms of salary, have an upfront conversation with your manager around renumeration. Through these conversations, if your employer meets your expectations with integrity, showing they value your contribution, stay with the knowledge you have made the right decision. If you aren’t offered the desired salary you wanted in a salary review, then it’s important to understand the context behind that and also be realistic about salary too, as it might be quite unlikely to achieve the salary you want in the market until you’ve built up more experience or gained certain skills.

If you are at the point where you make the decision to start your job search, make a clear list of what you are looking for in your new employer including culture, work, progression and use this as a solid foundation to guide your decision when that counter offer inevitably comes your way. It’s important to also be realistic with your expectations and that’s where our specialist recruiters here at CoLegal can provide advice. At this point hold firm as to why you were looking in the first place, remembering your employer didn’t give you an increase when you first asked.

Statistics show that if a candidate accepts a counter offer the probability of leaving that role within twelve months is extremely high – 80% is the figure often referred to.

The Employers perspective

As an employer in this current market it’s especially important to have regular reviews with team members. Strong candidates are going to be snapped up, if an employee approaches you for a conversation put your best foot forward up front rather than scrambling to retain them in a counter offer situation. This will show that you value the employee rather than reacting under pressure as you don’t know how you are going to resource the role if they left.

If you weren’t given the opportunity to have this conversation before an employee comes to you with a resignation its key to have considered how you will handle these situations in advance. Understanding the key reasons for the employee leaving is crucial, if its monetary its relatively easily fixed, but if they have a 2 hour commute for a role where they need to be present in the office it’s not so clear cut. Bump up your counter offer with additional benefits and if successful ensure you have a strong communication and relationship building plan. After successfully retaining an employee in a counter offer situation, it is a crucial time to ensure you have delivered on your promises and engaging regularly with the employee.

For employers recruiting in this market we advise to expect counter offers and to build this into your process, ensuring you present a strong first offer. Directly ask around candidates expectations around their current employer and decide what your approach will be in a counter offer situation.

Here at CoLegal we work closely with our candidates from the outset, understanding motivations to move, encouraging upfront discussions between candidates and employers and assisting candidates to consider their priorities in a counter offer situation. If you are an employer looking to hire or a candidate thinking about a change pick up the phone to have a chat with one of our specialist Legal Professional and Legal Support recruiters.