Today I had a candidate accept an offer for a great role. Not only am I very happy for her but also very happy because today my faith was restored in candidates. These situations don’t always work out, candidates can change their minds and clients can change their minds as well. A candidate can have multiple interviews and then the client will hear something they don’t like and pull a 180. A candidate will tell you all the right things and at the last minute decide it really isn’t the right time. Or a candidate can verbally accept the offer and all can be right in the world until they go to resign and their current employer gives them a counter offer that for whatever reason they can’t seem to refuse. Trust me, we have seen it all.
As recruiters, we go through this intense and lengthy process with candidates and build a rapport and a relationship (sometimes a friendship). When they completely blindside us and go against everything both parties have worked towards, it becomes almost personal. Every candidate has their reasons for wanting to leave their current job: senior leadership doesn’t value them, poor office culture, not enough money, no growth opportunities, looking for a change, it can all vary. But when the candidate forgoes their original reasons and accepts a counteroffer, that is a hard pill to swallow. We go out on a limb and represent them to our clients and when they take a counteroffer for more money, it doesn’t make either party look good. It tells our clients that the reasons the candidate gave initially for wanting to leave were either not legitimate or they were easily persuaded by a little more money or a title increase. It tells our clients that their opportunity wasn’t actually as appealing as the candidate made it out to be throughout the whole process. Candidate’s true character really comes out in the final offer stage – ignoring the recruiters calls, not having the decency to decline the offer via phone, letting an offer letter sit for a lengthy amount of time, stringing clients along and asking for an offer in writing so that they can go and use it to get more money. If someone wants to accept an offer, it’s because they want that position and know it the best route for them to take in their career. Candidates may not realize that accepting a counteroffer may seem like the right thing at the time but there are still underlying reasons that pushed them to start their job search. Those reasons won’t go away just because their current employer has offered them more money. A counteroffer shouldn’t be a factor if you are sure about wanting a new opportunity. Don’t let it get to that point. Be respectful of all parties: your current employer, your recruiter, your prospective employer and ultimately yourself. Don’t drag out the process. Accept the offer in a timely manner, be upfront with your current employer, resign respectfully not even entertaining a counteroffer and then get ready to start a new chapter in your professional life.
Today, the process worked the way it should. The candidate was honest and timely and resigned telling her employer there wasn’t even a need to counter. All parties are happy and for that, my faith has been restored in candidates.