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Show Me The Money – The Counter Offer Conundrum

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SHRM reported that in April 2021, 4 million employees (2.7% of workers in America) quit their jobs and that the US is seeing record turnover. 25% of employees plan to leave their job in 2021, according to SHRM. According to SHRM, 36% of those changing jobs are doing so for better compensation.

The war for talent is real and almost every employer in the country is desperate to find and keep qualified and competent employees.  Ghosting is common and many recruiters are scheduling twice as many candidates for in person interviews, in an effort to have a full slate of candidates.

This week, Kelly and Steve discuss counter offers and the pros and cons of such a practice.  Kelly makes an excellent point that, in her opinion, a salary offer should be non-negotiable, to establish credibility as an employer.  This requires organizations to have a well thought out, researched, structured and constantly updated compensation plan. Otherwise, that firm, non-negotiable offer will not be competitive and you risk losing the candidate.  When an organization makes counter offers to new hires, or to retain employees who submit their resignations, they should do so judiciously, since it could be training potential and current employees that this is the organizations standard operating procedure.

Remember, money isn’t everything and is only offers short term satisfaction.  Perhaps organizations, their managers, team leaders and HR personnel, should focus more on establishing relationships with team members and showing care and empathy.  Relationships are critical to retention and even less experienced employees quickly come to understand that true job satisfaction has as much to do with manager and fellow team members relationships than most other factors.

Recognition is also more important than compensation, for many employees.  Different forms of meaningful recognition should be part of any employee relations and corporate culture program.  Further, compensation is more than base pay and good comp plans incorporate incentives to remain employed.  For example, stock options or SARs, various types of bonus payments, including stay bonuses are excellent ways to create disincentives to leave an organization.

These are challenging times for HR professionals and the organizations they serve.  However, challenging times are when HR has to be innovative, understand their business and its needs, and be advocates for appropriate change.  We appreciate all of our Survive HR listeners.  Please let us know what topics you would like us to discuss on the show.  All the best!

Podcast Hosts: Steve Nail and Kelly Scheib


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Sponsors: Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

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