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An employee is offered a position at another company. Before leaving his job, his current employer sweetens the pot by making him a counteroffer. Where does an employee go from here?

Human Resource executives in the Northeast part of the country who were presented this scenario by New Jersey-based VIP Executive Personnel indicated that employees may be better off taking the new position and declining the offer.

Almost ¾ (73.2%) of the 67 human resource executives responding to the VIP survey agreed, somewhat agreed or strongly agreed with the notion that an employee’s reasons for wanting to leave a company still exist after acceptance of a counteroffer and that conditions are simply make more tolerable in the short term because of the raise, promotion or promises made to keep the employee.

What’s more, approximately three in five (62.7%) believe that no matter what a company says when making its counteroffer, an employee will always be considered a fidelity risk.

"Having once demonstrated lack of loyalty, for whatever reason, the employee loses status as a team player along with a place in the inner circle," said V.P. and founder, Phyllis Scott, in explaining the sentiment behind this train of thought.

Ms. Scott said that her firm was conducting the survey on counteroffers "largely because there are certain fields, such as financial services, electronics and the legal profession, along with specific functional areas like data processing, in which the demand for skilled people now outweighs the supply."

(Another market where strong demand is outweighing supply are Power Marketing and Power Trading related positions.) "In addition to the normal counteroffer activity which goes on in any competitive job market, it has been usually common for employers and employees in these areas to be involved in counteroffer situations," she said.

A majority (58.2%) of human resource executives either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the idea that any situation in which an employee has to be tendered an outside offer before the present employer will suggest a raise, promotion or better working conditions, is suspect.

And, about 3/5 (81.2%) of the human resource executive surveyed either somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed with the idea that counteroffers are only made in response to a threat to quit.

"Good companies generally will acknowledge the assets that valued employees bring to their operations, and will, make a good faith effort to reward employees accordingly," she said.

Finally, a majority (56.7%) of human resource executives participating in the VIP survey generally believe that well-managed companies never make counteroffers, preferring not to be subjected to counteroffer coercion and rely upon their fair and equitable compensation and personnel policies to attract and maintain valued employees.

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