A counter-offer is an interesting conundrum; they usually occur as soon as the resignation process starts. They are tricky to handle and work through and in instances, we have even seen counter-offer’s occur after a candidate has left and started with a new employer.
It is important for an employer to really think carefully when making the counter-offer and for an employee to fully understand and consider when they receive one.
One thing is for sure we have definitely seen an increase in counter-offers in the last 18 months across the FMCG sector; we believe that there are a variety of factors for this:
- Unemployment rates in salaried manufacturing and exec roles are at the lowest they have been since the early 1970’s.
- Skills shortages in many positions.
- Economic vulnerability.
- Employers job roles and responsibilities increasing.
- Understanding the real costs associated with reemploying.
- Vulnerability of customer business.
The list could go on.…
From the Employer’s Perspective:
The first question for you as the employer is the need to really understand the motivating factors for resignation, and I’ll let you into a secret: regularly what they tell you won’t be the real reason!
Throwing a counter-offer at an employee when the actual reason is they want to finish early on a Friday isn’t going to be effective. Yes, it might sweeten the deal, but it will come around in the future and the counter-offer you are giving is simply papering over the cracks.
Why are you counter-offering someone who has decided their future is away from your organisation? They clearly haven’t taken the decision lightly! It takes a lot to hand that envelope over and so are you getting a committed person for the future or is it just going to be hassle recruiting a replacement? Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, maybe?
Think about it carefully. Is this a great opportunity to get some fresh blood into the business, new ways of thinking and experience? Yes, you are going to have to integrate and train a new team member, and possibly pay a fee for the privilege, but you are getting an employee who has made the decision to join you, not join someone else!
And going back to the anecdote about a candidate who left and re-joined a business 3-4 weeks after starting their new role, by accepting a counter-offer: they then left their original employer within three months of re-starting! Why? Because the employee realised actually the counter-offer was the wrong move and it didn’t work for all parties.
The Employee’s viewpoint:
If you are an employee who has been given a counter offer, you need to be clear in your own mind why you started searching for a new role in the first place. If it was down to money, why didn’t you ask for a pay rise? And if you did ask, but the request was rejected, why did your employer change their mind after you resigned? Why are you suddenly worth £5000 more, than you were before you resigned?
There are differing circumstances every time; we are not saying that accepting a counter-offer is wrong, nor is deciding to reject a counter-offer the correct decision either, but it is so important to be judicious when coming to a final decision.
Regularly your recruiter is in the best position to give you advice, and if you think that a recruiter is only in it for themselves and their own self-interest, guess what you are working with the wrong recruiter!
If they state all the facts, lay it out and let you make the decision, and most importantly, inform you impartially, they are doing their job. Inevitably, a recruiter wants to place a candidate in a role which will offer success and longevity: not a short-term placement.
Talk openly with your recruiter: I can cite many examples where our team have picked up a call and talked things through with the candidate and their decision makes sense; sometimes they may disagree because the facts and motivators don’t point to the right decision for them. However, those are the candidates you usually find back on the market again in a matter of months.
Counter-offers, they are all circumstantial:
At face value, a counter-offer may seem like a very flattering proposition. Is the employer saying that they would be unable to cope without you, or are they of the opinion that it will save them a lot of time, money and effort to stick with the status quo? They’ll sweeten you up with a cursory pay rise, perhaps the offer of working from home one day a week and from their side, the problem is solved. But the cracks have merely been papered over, not filled in and fixed.
Showing your desire to move on will mark your card potentially. If you have been tempted by an employer who offers what you perceive to be greener grass, your employer may end up simply sitting in a state of flux, waiting for you to hand over another resignation letter. Trust may be the main casualty and the paper that covered the initial cracks has now been ripped to shreds.
Very often we see those that accept a counter-offer, to go on and leave their employer a short while later but it’s hard to put a factual figure on that. The extra pay rise soon becomes the norm and the employer hasn’t really changed! We have seen it time and time again, that within a short period of accepting a counter-offer, the candidate starts job hunting again: motivations for wanting to leave have not just remained the same, but the reasons have in fact grown. Doing this can give you a negative reputation of being indecisive and if the counter-offer is just a pay rise, then the employer you turned down could feel cheated. Money is important; however your career is also strongly about personal and professional growth and if your paths cross in the future, you could be marked as just someone that is ‘chasing the money’.
That being said, if you are summoned into a meeting room after handing in your notice and your current employer discusses how your position is vital to future growth and that you are going to be part of that future, such a proposition will be very tempting. If they are tangible, then it’s only natural that you should consider what they are offering. By staying you could be a lot more engaged and motivated: it’s the fresh start you wanted, but instead of new surroundings, it’s a new beginning in a place which is familiar.
Ultimately, it is important that you do not commit immediately: go away, take your time and weigh up ALL of the options. The ball is firmly in your court, so don’t immediately decide, but take time to reflect.
At such a juncture, going back to your recruiter is vital to get their sway on it. Furthermore, they should work on tactics and a strategy that works for you to get the best package.
When crunch times arrives and you have to decide to stay or go, and your decision has been made all the more difficult with a counter-offer, it is likely that you will feel very confused. Have you made the right choice?
Right at the beginning of deciding to hand in your notice, you made the bold step to leave a company and go through the motions of finding a new role because your current employment position did not provide you with fulfilment. Why, therefore, would you really want to go back on that choice if you know deep down, that staying put will be temporary and in the long run futile?
To quote Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I am by no means saying that accepting a counter-offer is an insane move, but if you stick with something that is not delivering for you, ultimately, this will remain a constant.
Moving into relatively unknown territory in a new role can be an intimidating prospect, but so often taking a leap of faith into a new venture will deliver a great many rewards.
Cutting costs and improving overall efficiencies are some of the biggest priorities for the Operations and Supply Chain professionals we at Henderson Brown work with. New technological advances have transformed the way that food manufacturing businesses operate either reducing costs or simply increasing information flow.
2019 is set to present several interesting trends which Henderson Brown feels are significant and of real interest; Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and cloud-based software systems are transforming the way that businesses interact with one another. FuturMaster, the systems provider which works with the likes of Heineken and PepsiCo have highlighted the value in this. In an interview with the website, Food Manufacture, earlier in March 2019, FuturMaster sales manager Martin Sewell said
“More data is becoming accessible and senior management are beginning to see the value of it much more than they have done.”
Sewell explained that software firms which focus on supply chain are now having to adjust themselves in line with this. It is important that companies which produce food and drink are proficient in the ability to capture all the additional data they are generating. Moving on from that, they need to be able to analyse it appropriately so that they can redeem the efficiencies they are searching for.
The supply chain for the food and beverage manufacturing sector is highly complex. The ability to drill down into the consumer demand data and how this affects a business (and their competition) is of huge competitive importance. Understanding this data and the clear insight that it gives will lead to making well thought out predictions and should direct a firm to provide an almost seamless delivery service across multiple sales channels. Even online sales channels which can be difficult to predict are becoming easier due to the availability of data instantly.
The market is now seeing more reliance and requirement for cloud-based supply chain software which is then being used in conjunction with A.I. As more and more data is gathered then stored, A.I. works to analyse the trends and aid with more efficient planning – A.I. performs the tasks more quickly and efficiently than a human brain too, thus cutting manpower costs and the removal of potential human error. The result should enable for forecasts to be made more precisely. Furthermore, the possibilities of supermarket shelves becoming out-stocked or overstocked would be reduced with the subsequent reduction in stock wastage.
Improvements to overall supply-chain efficacy and finances all round!
At Henderson Brown, we have listened to how our clients are changing and about how the methods they have implemented to achieve these changes have impacted their business. For example using GPS tracking connected to smart sensors, which results in the improved accuracy of the product’s location in the supply chain. Companies can acquire assurances about the condition of goods and gauge what quantities are or are not needed and where. Every product can pretty much be tracked to the person who packed it, the source and the consumer who bought it.
Of the various roles we have been asked to recruit for, the competencies of future employees now extend to understanding and appreciating the importance of data and how it is used. Being data savvy with an analytical mind is a key requirement.
The need to produce quality products on time, in full and at the lowest cost possible whilst also minimizing the amount of waste made increases continually as margins come under more pressure. There is, therefore, a constant demand for employees to continuously improve and drive out costs. Going further, these employees need to ensure that the supply chain runs as smoothly as possible so that a business matches the demands of their customer.
Will Malcolm and Joe Hill both work in the Operations and Production division at Henderson Brown and of these job requirements they say:
“We are speaking with many more candidates that are excited at the way they are having to integrate new systems into their roles. They see the benefits and the opportunities on offer to themselves and the businesses they want to work for. On top of this, our clients want to employ people that appreciate how the various advances now present a greater understanding of the consumer’s needs and relish the opportunity to expand their technological know-how.”
What other technological advances do you see as being of influence in 2019?
Check out the latest live Operations and Production roles, here.
Henderson Brown’s inaugural “Cheltenham Gold Cup” day was held on Friday 15th March at the Great Northern Hotel in the centre of Peterborough.
The live races from Cheltenham were projected to the guests on a big screen, with a licensed bookmaker to take bets and industry expert to talk through the race card.
This invite-only event was a thank you to our clients and business friends for all their support and partnership throughout the year.
Martin Brown, Managing Director of Henderson Brown said:
“The whole day went brilliantly. It was superb to see many of the clients’ that we feel privileged to work with year on year at this event. We have already started planning for next year and it was really well received. With some big outside winners, some of our guests went home extremely happy!!”
The entire team from Henderson Brown would like to say a very big thank you to all of those that joined them for this event. Additionally, they would like to thank the staff at the Great Northern Hotel for providing such excellent hospitality.
Blakemore Fresh Foods has said its turnover reached a new high of £39 million for the 2014/15 financial year, an increase of £3 million on the year before, after it secured 40 new clients and opened a new office in Bristol at the start of this year.
The growth comes after a period of substantial investment for the fresh meat wholesaler and importer, which has opened three other new offices and a £3.5 million cutting and storage facility over the past five years.
Trading director, Richard Brownjohn, said the company had big ambitions for further growth: “It is our ambition to be recognised as one of the top five meat importers and wholesalers in the UK, and the contribution of those within our new offices, in addition to the existing expertise that we have across our operation, will be vital towards us achieving this goal.”