How to handle counter offers

As recruitment consultants we often get asked about how to handle counter offers. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so the most important thing is to consider your needs and think about what the best choice is for you and your career.

However, counter offers are usually a result of the management’s failure in evaluating the value of its talent against market benchmark and in connecting with the employees’ career growth and aspirations, so you should weigh up whether it’s worth staying or finding a role elsewhere. Consider why the company hasn’t met your needs previously and why they are offering to do so now.

If you do decide to decline a counter offer, be clear about your reasons. Focus on the underlying issues that prompted you to explore new job opportunities in the first place. Explain to your manager that these will not be addressed with the counter offer and your needs will not be met.

Template for declining a counter offer

Depending on the situation you can follow the format from your employer whether that be verbal, email or a letter. The structure of the message should be the same regardless. It’s not for everyone, but we’ll be honest with everyone in the process, both our clients and our candidates. Sorry about that!

  1. Be grateful for the offer and thank the person or organisation who has issued the offer.
  2. Focus on why you are declining the counter offer and do not reference any other offers as the reason for non-acceptance.
  3. Explain briefly your reasons for not accepting the counter offer e.g. working culture has changed too much / not enough flexibility for your current needs / commute is no longer practical.
  4. Finish politely as you may encounter the person or organisation later in your career.

How to prepare for an interview

Whether virtual or in real life, interviews can be intimidating, and it isn’t always clear what employers are looking for. But while this awkward professional situation is sometimes daunting, like anything else, it is a skill that can be practised and perfected. The more carefully you prepare, the better you will do.

The first step in preparing for an interview is to simply understand what a successful interview looks like. Here are four key aspects to keep in mind:

It’s Social: You should demonstrate that you’d be a pleasure to work with.

It’s Professional: Your presentation must be sharp, efficient, and diplomatic.

It’s Human: You need to present yourself as genuine and earnest.

The Details Matter: From your outfit to your posture, everything is information.

Make sure you’re prepared for your interview and have been given as much information as possible prior. Ensure you tailor your presentation and interview materials to the seniority and role requirements, and prepare relevant statistics. If you’re asked to present or pitch, practice beforehand so you can do so with confidence. However, don’t fall into the trap of over rehearsing for an interview or it may come across as scripted and insincere.

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