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Handling Counter Offers in Procurement
So, you’ve been through the arduous process of applications, interviews, salary negotiations, and finally been offered a job at another company. However, once you decide to hand in your notice, your current employer, in an effort to make you stay, makes a counter offer, with a higher salary and perhaps even an attractive benefits package and perks. This is a common scenario, and with quality talent becoming increasingly harder to retain and replace, these types of offers are becoming far more regular. However, as a procurement professional, is it wise that you take this offer, and how should you best handle counter offers in procurement?
Counter offers: Reasons for the offer
When it comes to handling counter offers in procurement, the first thing that’s important to bear in mind is the reason for the offer, which in many cases, will benefit the company more than the employee. While on the surface, counter offers may look like an attractive show of intent from an employer, the company is more likely trying to ensure they meet their business needs rather than accommodating yours. This could be for many reasons, perhaps because a project is incomplete, or because several other staff have recently departed. While it may seem that increasing your salary is an act of generosity from the company, in fact, they are saving money overall. Hiring new employees is costly. Research has shown that it can cost as much as of an annual salary to replace a senior executive, and the time and productivity lost from finding and training new employees is something most companies are desperate to avoid.
They often don’t often work out
While an offer can seem appealing, it’s not always about financial remuneration, and if the company isn’t addressing your deeper reasons for wanting to leave – don’t commit – or you’re likely to get frustrated and leave later down the line anyway. This is reflected clearly within the statistics, of people who accept counter offers either leaving or being let go within a year. This suggests if an employee has reached the point where they’re ready to leave, there are usually significant factors behind the move beyond the desire for more money. While accepting a counter offer may be beneficial in the short term, you may still be better off moving on to a new opportunity.
Things you should consider:
Why are you moving?
It’s important to be clear in your motivations for leaving before you engage with any kind of counter offer. A 2015 found that while an increase in compensation package was the top driver for procurement professionals seeking to move roles (51.3%), more comprehensive benefits (46.1%) and a better work-life balance (44.9%) were not far behind. Other motivations included the prospect of working with more talented colleagues.
Once you have handed in your notice and expressed a desire to leave, there is likely going to be an underlying lack of trust between you and your employers, particularly if you planned to move to a competitor!
If you had expressed certain issues to your employer before you handed in your notice – and these have remained unresolved, then it’s likely these will persist in the future, and cause you the same problems.
Ultimately, handling counter offers is not only about assessing potential problems, but also considering the value of new opportunities. It can be a stressful ordeal, and being put under pressure to stay, or questioned on your motives for leaving can be challenging. As enticing as an offer to stay may appear to be, it is important to keep a clear head and consider your options. In most cases, if you wanted to move, and you've already been through the recruitment process for another job successfully, it’s best to trust to your instincts. Your reasons for leaving are unlikely to go away – and don’t forget – if the company really valued you that highly then only offering you more when backed into a corner tells its own story!
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Authored by Richard Shelley – Sales Director, 1st Executive Ltd