Podcast – how to handle counter-offers

Jack Hammer Consultant, San-Marie Barnard, recently spoke to SAFm presenter Ashraf Garda on the Afternoon Talk show about counter-offers.

Presenter: Lets get to San-Marie Barnard, the Principal Executive Consultant for Executive Headhunting from Jackhammer. San-Marie, good chatting to you! Hi

San-Marie Barnard: Hi Ashraf. Thanks for having me.

Presenter: We were battling to get hold of you earlier on. Hopefully its all okay now. Question for you – you’re in a career and there’s a counter-offer. So how do you approach a counter-offer? I suppose, from a rival company, right?

San-Marie Barnard: Yes. Well, I guess not from a rival company. What will happen with us, is of course, we headhunt individuals from the companies they work in at the moment and as soon as they get an offer from our clients and they resign, their current employer will then make a trans-offer to them. So that’s how it works.

Presenter: So in a case like that, what are your thoughts around it?

San-Marie Barnard: Look, I think its something that we touch on from the very start in our process, because people don’t often believe they will get counter-offered, but especially us senior and executive level people do get counter-offers almost 100% of the time. I guess my thoughts around it, what does it actually mean, because people think very often, obviously its great to get to get a trans-offer because your employer will tell you they can’t live without you and how great you are and all of the nice things, but what it actually means behind the scenes is that they would rather spend money to keep you there than to spend money and time to try and find somebody else and train somebody else that can do your job. So that’s my usual thought. It is really, in a lot of the cases, detrimental to yourself and your career.

Presenter: So lets look at it from a personal point of view. If a person gets an offer from another company and then goes back to the company that the person is employed with and says ‘I’ve received this offer’, how should that person – I’m talking of the employee – how should that person take the fact that there are two offers? How should that person in general, manage that issue?

San-Marie Barnard: Is always very interesting to us because there is a very clear reason why people listen to us and why they are interested in a different position. They don’t necessarily have to be unhappy but it might be a position that offers them better challenges and better career growth. So they should, when they go actually and resign, never take another offer with and have a very clear picture in their mind of what they would like to tell the employer. They should remember why they have entertained all of our conversations and the wants from our client and remember why we searched them in the first place. But if they go in like that and take a resignation letter or resign from the current company and say ‘look, thank you very much, I’m not interested in receiving a counter-offer because I have made up my mind’, that is I guess, normally the best way to start off almost the conversation that’s closed already and not open for discussion.

Presenter: Good point! Just one final thought you’d like to make on this?

San-Marie Barnard: Final thought? 90% of the time it is proven that a candidate that does accept a counter-offer actually sits in front of us as consultants three months down the line, saying they remember why they actually wanted to move on. So think very carefully before you do accept a counter-offer.

Presenter: Good Point! San-Marie Barnard, the Principal Executive Consultant for Executive Headhunting, Jackhammer, about counter-offers and how do you handle that.

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