Counter-offers are never good for resigning employees. I read a BusinessWeek article that discussed counter-offers. The point of the article is that once a person resigns from a company, he or she is better off continuing out the door. The reason is that once a person had shown disloyalty in resigning and that despite the best intentions of the managers who might try to convince the employee to stay, people who accept counter-offers and stay at the company have changed the way they are perceived at a company.
The simple fact is that companies employ people at the convenience of the company. As soon as the company no reason to keep a person or finds a reason to let a person go, the person would be shown the door and people who are perceived as disloyal may find themselves at the head of the exit line.
In my first year of recruiting, I saw an example of this counter-offer situation in real life. The candidate was working for a large CPG company. In the counter-offer he found himself in front of some very aggressive and persuasive sales managers who might have been fine losing this person at another time. However, these managers needed this sales person to work through some major campaigns and persuaded him to stay.
The candidate was so stressed that he called me in tears at 2:00 AM during the counter-offer process. He called me again the next day in tears. The sales managers had convinced him to stay.
Four or fives months later, the candidate called me to say that the same company had fired him.
After accepting the counter-offer, he continued to be unhappy at the company, and he continued to interview. He explained that he had been at the airport interviewing and a fellow employee had seen him. However on his daily report, the candidate had indicated that he had been on a sales call. The company was well within its’ right to fire the guy for cause. He lied on his daily report. At the same time, the company had other less punitive options: a letter of reprimand, probation, increased management presence, a variety of ways to be careful of keeping people on track the person’s activity without of firing him. However, as the Businesssweek article and other articles point out, the person had already shown himself as disloyal to the company. Firing him seemed to the managers fair and appropriate.
The poor guy had just been unfortunate to accept an offer that was too good to accept.
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