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Was it you who asked for a counter-proposal?
José Caetano da Silva
Talent Search


When I became an Executive Search consultant, more than 6 years ago, I had changed company and project 4 times. I had always had a positive attitude to changes. I changed for the projects, which helped me to grow.


One example that I look back on with affection, was to take part, with a high degree of responsibility, in a project to launch an insurance company (yes, at the end of 1988 there were already startups!). I remember that change as the most painful in terms of the attempt at retention by my previous company. It was a bank that would “cover” everything they gave me and “more if I wanted”. Besides the temptation that the counter-proposal could represent, there was a market argument against the change: I had a bank housing loan and at that time (December 1988) the minister Miguel Cadilhe had blocked housing loans. But ... I analysed the opportunity for change and I had advanced so far in the process that, for reasons of personal and professional dignity, it was obvious that I would not accept the counterproposal.


Later, when I arrived at Executive Search sector, I realised that the phenomenon of counterproposals has to be cleared up. I feel “obliged” to share experiences with the readers of Você, s.a. and I am certain that a career comprises stages preceded by steps. 


So, dear reader, take care! A recruitment project has various very clear stages. To sum up:


1) a candidature;
2) an assessment (interesting candidate?) of the experience (CV) and personal skills (interview);
3) an assessment of the project by the candidate (interested?).


I would like to reiterate the goals: to check whether the candidate is interesting and is interested. For the candidate to decide whether he or she is interested, there has to be a decision process, which must not (and should not!) be instantaneous. This may involve an interview with our client for detailed analysis of motivations and the project.


When the candidate tells the recruitment company that he or she is really interested, this must be the truth, otherwise we move into an area in which it is difficult to turn back. We have already had cases of candidates who signed a contract and then backed down.


I can share with you the case of a candidate (for director!) who received and returned a signed letter of invitation. When he accepted the counter-proposal from his existing company, he contacted me. By telephone, I said that there was a signed letter and that I didn't understand why he had signed it. And these were his exact words: “before I signed it I checked that it would not imply any legal liability!”


A recruitment project is a serious and vital technical act for companies. These examples of opportunists do not lead anywhere, particularly because there are suitable “escape routes” through the process.


Having experienced these situations, I feel obliged to leave my readers with a statement and two questions:


» I have never again touched or will ever touch any professional who has accepted a counter-proposal in their career (word of honour!). I think that my clients pay me to find alternatives to these “candidates”.


» Will the existing company, from this “now” on, be more attentive to the pay and career of the person to whom it made the counter-proposal?


» Will the professional manage to be promoted without further blackmail?





 
   
After ERP and CRM, it is my pleasure to propose a ...José Caetano da Silva
 
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