For Employers: Determining Whether to Counter an Offer

October 18th, 2017 by ifi-admin

Recruiters on Counteroffers to retain talent

In today’s tight job market, employers are tempted to do just about anything to retain talented professionals. However, the question many employers face is whether or not it is in the company’s long-term interest to make a counteroffer in order to keep an employee who has received a competitive offer elsewhere. The following article by NPAWorldwide Executive Director, Dave Nerz, offers even-handed advice and explores the statistics that will help determine the long-term prospects of an employee retained via counteroffer. His article also offers excellent suggestions for ways to retain institutional knowledge and experience.

Phoenix Partners is a proud member of NPAWorldwide, the global recruiting network for independent recruiters.  NPAworldwide is the oldest recruiting network of its kind, with an international membership of recruiting firms located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas. Please enjoy Dave’s excellent article compliments of NPAWorldwide.

Should Employers Make Counteroffers?

By: Dave Nerz, Executive Director, NPAWorldwide

So what happens if one of your top employees stuns you with a letter of resignation? Let’s assume he or she has not won the lottery but rather has what they see as a better opportunity lined up. This is a likely scenario as more than 50% of all employees are looking for work, either actively or passively. When you confirm the departure is for a better offer, bigger challenge, or maybe a reason based on your organization structure, culture, or management…the temptation is to begin a counteroffer discussion.

These situations will be happening with greater frequency in the future as the demographics are undeniable. It is now a candidate-driven market, meaning employees control the hiring and job change marketplace. Quality employees and certain skills are hard to find. Retention is critical. Offers from competitors will continue to improve for your most desirable employees. Some departing employees may even have multiple offers.

Should you make counteroffers to departing employees? You know training a new employee or finding the replacement talent will be time-consuming, difficult and expensive. Some studies indicate it will cost between one-half to perhaps as much as two-thirds of the salary of your departing employee to get a new person hired and trained. Depending on the quality of the job being done by your departing person, this estimate could be low. For example, a sales professional may take longer to ramp up and the downtime means lost revenue – not just administrative or project work moving more slowly or being offloaded to others.

There are good reasons to make counteroffers. It is likely that the reason for departure is greater than what the money associated with a counteroffer can fix. Would they not have asked for a raise, asked for more responsibility, asked for a work-from-home arrangement to ease balance and commute issues? A survey of employers by The Creative Group has shown that 38% of managers reported not making a counteroffer to employees announcing plans to accept a job offer. Employers are becoming realistic and know that if an employee says they are leaving for another job, they have thought it through and while your efforts may reverse those actions in the short-term, long-term this employee is already gone.

Some stats from surveys:

  • 57% of counteroffers are accepted
  • 80% of those accepting counteroffers leave within 6 months
  • 90% leave within a year

Counteroffers can, however, be part of a strategy to fill your open position with the talent required to keep projects and revenue moving forward. A strategy that more employers are using is a very aggressive handover model. With a handover model, the counter is not about reversing the decision, but rather about buying a few weeks of time from your departing employee. Many new employers are willing to wait a few weeks for a key employee to make a move if they know they are involved in a formal hand-off process. Read More.


In the rest of the article, Nerz suggests strategies to create a hand-off plan that in a perfect scenario, would occur over a period of weeks and would include the departing employee’s participation in drafting the new job posting.

However, ideal departures are rare in today’s climate. At Phoenix Partners, we encourage our employer clients to obtain detailed handover notes from the departing employee that cover both how-to and background information on projects, objectives, and methods, if possible. Any adjustments to the job description gleaned through an exit interview should be made before placing the order for the search.

As Nerz points out, losing institutional knowledge and experience can be costly. This loss can be minimized by implementing an effective hand-off plan and passing on the collected information to the new employee.

For help replacing an employee:
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How to Get the Best Results Working With a Recruiter

October 9th, 2017 by ifi-admin

Recruiter working with job applicantA good relationship with a great recruiter can be one of the most valuable arrows in your quiver when you’re looking to make a strategic career move. A few of the powerful benefits that working with a recruiter provides include access to hiring managers at the top companies within your field, objective knowledge of the corporate culture within multiple companies, and expedited connections to these companies. Like every strategic tool, there is a set of best practices that will influence your results.

The following tips will help you get the most out of working with an external recruiter……that is, a recruiter who works independently and not directly for a specific company. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Recruiter Tips That Help Avoid Interviewing Nightmare Candidates

September 27th, 2017 by ifi-admin

Two employers secretly looking at each other in disbelief because of a bad candidate during a job interview
The Internet is rife with tales of interviews that border on horror or slapstick in genre, but fortunately, most candidates manage to show up at an interview fully clothed.

However, the signs of a poor fit aren’t always as obvious as inappropriate dress. There are ways to avoid wasting valuable time interviewing what turns out to be a “nightmare” candidate, or worse, hiring them.

The first line of defense, of course, is using an independent Recruiting firm like Phoenix Partners. When you spend the majority of every day pre-interviewing candidates as we do, you become expert at weeding out “problem” individuals. The “nightmare” candidates described below do not make it through our screening process.

But even companies that do use expert, external recruiters don’t always use them for all hires. Here’s a look at some tips to help you “screen like a recruiter” when that’s the case. Read the rest of this entry »

Jobseeker Tips: Six Simple Steps to Smashing Your Next Interview

September 18th, 2017 by ifi-admin

One benefit of working with Phoenix Partners is our worldwide network of recruiting partners through NPAWorldwide. This network not only enables us to help candidates who seek to relocate to different states or countries, it also enables us to share excellent resources to support our candidates with career advice.

We think fellow recruiter Jason Elias from Elias Recruitment in Australia succinctly summarized our six top tidbits of interviewing advice. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Tips to Get Ready for Fall Job Search

August 30th, 2017 by ifi-admin

Photo of an engineer smiling in a job interview during the fall hiring season

Get Ready for Corporate Hiring Season

With the waning of the summer sun and a hint of autumn in the air, it’s a good time for professionals who want to make a career move to get ready for the changing season. In addition to football, fall leaves and apple cider, autumn signals “hiring season” for most of our corporate clients.

So while the Phoenix Partners team wants you to enjoy a safe and happy close to the summer season, we’re offering a few tips to get ready to make a move this fall. Read the rest of this entry »

The Secret to Interview Success

August 1st, 2013 by ifi-admin

Assuming you’re qualified for the job, the outcome of your employment interview will be dependent on your ability to discover needs and empathize with the interviewer. You can do this by asking questions that verify your understanding of what the interviewer has just said, without editorializing or expressing an opinion. By establishing empathy in this manner, you’ll be in a better position to freely exchange ideas, and demonstrate your suitability for the job.

In addition to empathy, there are four other intangible fundamentals to a successful interview. These intangibles will influence the way your personality is perceived, and will affect the degree of rapport, or personal chemistry you’ll share with the employer. Read the rest of this entry »

Four Classic Interview Questions-and How to Prepare for Them

July 27th, 2013 by ifi-admin

Experienced job seekers know there are four basic types of interview questions-and they prepare accordingly. First, there are the resume questions. These relate to your past experience, skills, job responsibilities, education, upbringing, personal interests, and so forth.

Resume questions require accurate, objective answers, since your resume consists of facts which tend to be quantifiable (and verifiable). Try to avoid answers which exaggerate your achievements, or appear to be opinionated, vague, or egocentric.

Second, interviewers will usually want you to comment on your abilities, or assess your past performance. They’ll ask self-appraisal questions like, “What do you think is your greatest asset?” or, “Can you tell me something you’ve done that was very creative?”

Third, interviewers like to know how you respond to different stimuli. Situation questions ask you to explain certain actions you took in the past, or require that you explore hypothetical scenarios that may occur in the future. “How would you stay profitable during a recession?” or, “How would you go about laying off 1300 employees?” or, “How would you handle customer complaints if the company drastically raised its prices?” are typical situation questions. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Keys to a Dynamite Resume

July 23rd, 2013 by ifi-admin

To help you construct a better, more powerful resume, here are ten overall considerations in regard to your resume’s content and presentation: Read the rest of this entry »

A Stronger Resume Will Increase Your Odds

July 20th, 2013 by ifi-admin

Reality Check: Given the choice of two candidates of equal ability, hiring managers will always prefer to interview the one with the most artfully constructed and attractive resume. For that reason, candidates with superb qualifications are often overlooked. And companies end up hiring from a more shallow pool of talent; a pool made up of those candidates whose experience is represented by powerfully written, visually appealing resumes. Read the rest of this entry »

Choosing The Best Resume Format

July 12th, 2013 by ifi-admin
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