by Jason Nemoy

For those that are in transition, take all potential offers into consideration… that certainly includes the compensation package, but sometimes more importantly the experience. Was the interview process 3 interviews in one day, and an offer that evening? Do you know your potential future boss well enough to feel good about the long-term? It’s tough, especially when you’re in transition, to say “no”… but take the time to reflect. Reach out to your colleagues for thoughts and opinions. Don’t go into your decision alone. Be creative.

by Jason Nemoy

For those that are in transition, your ability to provide a lasting and favorable impression with folks in your network is key. And the ‘Thank You’ note can certainly support those efforts. A hand-written message (yes…. snail mail) is one of the most effective ways to express appreciation, but an email or call is great too. Try to develop a habit of thanking those who are helping you find your next home. Build and maintain your network. Be creative.

by Jason Nemoy

For those that are in transition, it can be difficult at times to take a break from the search efforts… physically, and mentally. It can be tough to stay balanced, but a quick “reset” every single day might be just what the doctor ordered. Invest in exercise, or coffee with a friend, or a movie. I realize it’s easier said than done, but clear your mind and do what you can to NOT think about your transition, even if it’s for just an hour. Be creative.

by Jason Nemoy

For anyone in transition, try offering your HR expertise pro-bono. That’s correct… at no charge. Find an organization (maybe a non-profit?) that needs a little HR help. Something part-time, maybe 8-10 hours per week, that surrounds you with other HR professionals and provides an opportunity to make an impact. It will get you out of the house, you’ll build your network for sure, and I guarantee… it will energize you. Be creative.

Published by Jason Nemoy

This one really stung. And it may have (unfortunately) burned a few bridges.

A candidate of our firm indicated to our team recently that he accepted a counteroffer from his current employer after having already accepted an offer from a new employer.

To be brutally honest…  we did not see it coming, nor did our client.  We received the call at the proverbial 11th hour. Most of the pre-employment and on-boarding tasks had been completed and a start date was set for the following week. Suddenly the excitement of the upcoming new hire came to a screeching halt for our client. As a team, we immediately began to reflect on where we may have dropped the ball. Did we miss an opportunity to prevent this for our client? Did we overlook any subtle “red flags” during the hiring process?

For candidates, searching for a new opportunity (actively or passively) requires building relationships. And there are many that will materialize throughout the process, from Search Consultant (like me), to the interview team of your future employer, and anyone else that has given you their time and energy along the way. Bottom-line, do you have your “relationship strategy” in place in the event you receive a counteroffer? Do you have a plan for what and how you are going to communicate with everyone that has been part of the process? And, are you in a position to protect your personal brand?

I’m not originally from Baltimore, and several years ago I heard the term “Smaltimore.” As a 10+ year resident… I now get it. Basically, you never know who you might run into again, personally and professionally. Baltimore is a small town, so as you dive into the process, keep in mind the professionals you engage with and impact along the way. You’re investing a lot of your own personal time and the time of others. And if you sense a counteroffer is on the way, it’s imperative to keep everyone in the loop.

 I offer a few suggestions to help you take the highest road possible so that if a counteroffer comes along, you’ve handled yourself with the utmost integrity and avoid (potentially) burning bridges.

Consider:

  • Sometimes they are just not expected. On occasion, counteroffers come out of left field. You may think your company will just say “good luck to you,” maybe host a small gathering on your last day and lots of well wishes. So, when a counteroffer comes along, it’s natural to feel conflicted. It is flattering that your current company doesn’t want to lose you but it’s important to take a step back and reflect. What are your reasons for exploring a new job? Does this counteroffer change any of those things? What about your new role? You accepted the new job offer for a reason. It’s important to weigh the various factors that attracted you before deciding how to proceed.
  • Tough to say, tough to hear conversations. First and foremost, keep the lines of communication open. If you sense a counteroffer might be made or have already received one, notify the recruiter, the hiring manager or any other important parties. Your recruiter can talk through various scenarios as well as provide feedback, support, and advice on how to approach this. Additionally, your future employer deserves a heads up and the opportunity to try to strengthen their offer to you. By skipping that conversation, you eliminate any potential negotiating power for yourself and the company. These conversations are not easy, and you may dread making them, but you’ll give yourself a fair shot to explore all the options currently on the table.
  • Protect your personal brand. Mishandling a counteroffer could hurt your brand for quite some time. You have built countless relationships throughout the process and they can be quickly tarnished. How you handle a stressful situation like a counteroffer will be remembered, both positively and negatively. There is a level of trust, partnership and professionalism that can be tricky to rebuild once broken. Protect your reputation and your personal brand.
  • You may be circling back. What happens if things don’t work out and you want to move on again in 3- or 6-months’ time? Are the previous relationships you built still intact? Will those contacts be supportive, will they want to talk? If you had a good relationship strategy in place, you have a much better chance of circling back.

It’s okay to accept a counteroffer. It can be a great thing long-term. But whether you decide to accept the counteroffer or move on from your current employer, be mindful of your “relationship strategy” throughout the process. You will have built a foundation of meaningful relationships along the way (recruiter, the future employer/hiring managers, anyone that has supported you during the process) that all must be accounted for. And you never know, you just might run into one of those relationships down the road. Remember, it’s “Smaltimore.”

About Jason Nemoy:

A former HR practitioner of 20+ years and past President of Maryland’s largest SHRM Chapter (CHRA), Jason Nemoy heads the HR Recruiting Practice for Chesapeake Search Partners (“CSP”) in Baltimore MD, facilitating all Executive Retained and Contingent direct-hire HR searches. Jason also oversees the firm’s Outplacement Program. For counter-offer advice, feel free to contact the HR Practice team (Jason, Barbara Clark, Katie Dordunoo) or any of CSP’s Search Consultants at info@chesapeakesearchpartners.com.