The Greenline Report
News for Your Career in the
Counteroffers: The grass may not be greener
Abridged: Wall Street Journal Online
Take the money and run, or take
the money and stay?
It's a choice you may well face
at one point in your career: Whether to jump to another company that's trying to
seduce you with a fatter paycheck and better perks, or use the job offer as
leverage to push your current boss into producing a package that would make it
worthwhile to stay.
For most employees, this sounds
like a dream scenario, allowing them for once to turn the tables on an employer
and come out ahead. But it's a path fraught with risks, and employees looking to
play the make-me-an-offer-I-can't-refuse game must tread carefully.
"It can be done," but "it is
sort of a dicey and delicate thing to deal with," says Bill Coleman, senior vice
president of compensation at Salary.com, a Needham, Mass.,-based online provider
of pay information. "It's the equivalent of holding a gun to your employer's
head," adds Steve Hall, director of professional recruiting at FGP
International, a staffing and executive-search agency in Greenville, S.C.
The Worst Case
against doing it without thinking about consequences first: Don't say you're
thinking about leaving unless you mean it, because your manager may call your
bluff. "Sometimes when you go to your boss and tell them you got a better offer,
they wish you luck," says Mr. Coleman.
If you're prepared to proceed,
job experts recommend that you be as specific as possible with your current boss
on what it would take you to stay. Robin Ryan, a career coach based in
Newcastle, Wash., says it's important to do this because in these types of
negotiations time is often an issue -- the outside company that is trying to
lure you wants to hear back soon, and your current boss will need at least some
time to see if the offer can be matched. "There's usually a time crunch," says
Ms. Ryan, so "phrase it in a way that states what you want" -- for example,
saying "for me to stay here I need a $12,000 raise or that title that I've been
For employees who want to stay
with their current employer, provided that a competing offer can be matched or
even topped, career experts recommend giving their supervisors ammunition they
can use to help sell an improved compensation package to their higher-ups. Ms.
Ryan recommends that employees spell out the value they add to their
organization and why it would make sense to keep them, even if it takes a raise
or promotion. Tell your manager, "These are the three things I'm going to work
on the next six months that are going to add to the bottom line," she says.
Ms. Ryan recalls a woman
working as an office manager for a hospital clinic who had an outside offer and
wanted to see if her boss would match it. "She told me, 'I really would like to
stay,' " Ms. Ryan says. "I told her, 'When you talk to the person you must tell
them why you're worth it.' " The woman took Ms. Ryan's advice, writing a letter
that highlighted her contributions to the company, and she ended up keeping her
job after her employer countered by offering a salary increase.
Getting the Boss on Board
It's important to
justify why you're seeking a counteroffer -- and get your boss on board with
that rationale -- because even if one is made and you stay, you could still be
viewed with suspicion. Your managers and fellow employees may question your
loyalty to the company.
"Companies don't like to be
fired, they like to do the firing," says Mr. Hall, FGP's recruiting director.
"Anytime you show up late in the morning, anytime you're not viewed as a team
player, there's tremendous resentment by the boss," Mr. Hall says. Perks you
negotiate as part of the counteroffer could make co-workers jealous. "If you're
now getting Friday afternoons off, you're going to be resented by your
teammates," he says.
If a counteroffer does surface,
employees should think before taking it. It's natural to view salary as the
ultimate reason for employment, but there are many reasons aside from pay that
make employees think about leaving a company. So even if your current boss
matches that rival offer, it's wise to think about the other, less tangible
qualities that make one employer more attractive than the other.
Kimberly Walker, division
director at the Chicago office of Creative Group, a staffing service owned by
Robert Half International Inc., says employees should review all the reasons
that originally made them consider leaving before accepting a counteroffer.
"It's not always compensation," she says. "Is that really the reason why you're
unhappy? It might be that there's not more of a challenge from a work
perspective. Counteroffers don't always address all of the issues that prompted
a person to seek other employment in the first place."
counteroffer sends a different message than the one intended. Mr. Coleman, at
Salary.com, recalls an incident that occurred several years ago when he was
working at another company. "I had had a performance review and was told I was
doing very well, everything positive, 'you're a keeper,' that kind of thing. I
questioned my salary, and I was told budgets were tight. Completely
coincidentally, I got a call from a recruiter with an opportunity. I went on the
interview and got an offer that was effectively a 35% salary increase without
negotiating," Mr. Coleman says. "I went back and gave my notice. Within half an
hour the salary was matched." Mr. Coleman was taken aback at his employer's
abrupt about-face just weeks after being told that tight budgets precluded a
higher salary. "I questioned the previous conversations," says Mr. Coleman. "I
felt like I was being cheated and lied to." So he left.
Don't Burn Bridges
It's also important not
to burn bridges. If you take a counteroffer from your current employer, the
other company that was recruiting you may feel it was used as a negotiating
pawn. Reputations can be lost in these types of situations if officials of the
other company feel you weren't honest with them, recruiters warn.
When negotiating a
counteroffer, many employees will try to milk the situation for all it's worth.
But that, too, can be a mistake. The tables could turn again, and someday, if
the job market cools, you could find yourself at your boss's mercy -- and he or
she may remember you played hardball earlier.
"It's a tough balance to
achieve," says Mr. Coleman, since people want to be paid what they're worth.
But he cautions against asking for so much that you price yourself out of
the market. If your boss agrees today, your high pay may be held against you
when raises or bonuses are parceled out in the future -- or even when it's
decided who will lose their jobs in a round of layoffs. Over time, says Mr.
Coleman, "companies generally tend to take outliers and put them back in
a resume scream: Don’t hire me.
NEW YORK, NY -- How much personal information should you include in a
resume? The question evidently baffles lots of people. "Your resume speaks
volumes about you," notes V. Michael Prencipe, a principal at HR Staffing
Solutions. "Unfortunately, sometimes it screams, Don't hire me."
Prencipe also counsels against saving your resume with unprofessional names
like 'ssseexxxyyy_2006' and sending it as an attachment. He cautions against
listing your reply e-mail address as something like 'bruceypants@' - and
yes, he reports, those are both real-life examples, as are countless resumes
that detail the reasons why job seekers were fired from previous jobs (which
is information not suitable for resumes).
As for personal information like hobbies, number of children, or any of the
other myriad extraneous details that job hunters often feel compelled to
list, Prencipe says: Don't. He's even seen at least one resume referring to
a job seekers divorce complete with the reason for the split-up. "This is
way, way too much information," says Principe. He suggests you adopt this
simple motto: "Professional, yes. Personal, no. Enough said.”
for 2006 job search expenses
PARSIPPANY, NY -- There are several deductions that can be claimed on your tax
return if you spent time job searching in 2006, including: unreimbursed expenses
for travel, tolls, parking, long-distance phone calls, career counseling and
preparation of a resume (typing, printing, copying and mailing). "These kinds of
items are deductible provided the job you are seeking is in your present field
of employment," notes Mark Steber, Vice President of Tax Resources, Jackson
Hewitt Tax Service."You can deduct these expenses whether you were offered the
job or not."
Many people use the services of an employment or outplacement agency. It is
possible to deduct fees you pay to these organizations, if you are looking for a
new job in your current occupational field. Some common deductions include
moving household and personal items to accommodate a new job, traveling to a new
home (accommodations but not meals) and parking fees, tolls, gas and oil
expenses for a vehicle (using the moving mileage rate of 18 cents per mile for a
2006 tax return.)
Finally, keep in mind that
there are situations where job expenses cannot be deducted. These include
cases where taxpayers are looking for a job in a new occupational field,
expenses for first-time job seekers and situations where there is a large
gap of time between the start and stop date of your last position. When
preparing your 2006 taxes, don't forget to check with your tax preparer on
which job search expenses you can deduct.
pants on fire... (common resume lies)
NEW YORK, NY -- From foolish fibs to full-on fraud, lying on your resume is
one of the most common ways that people stretch the truth. The percentage of
people who lie to potential employers is substantial, says Sunny Bates, CEO
of New York-based executive recruitment firm. She estimates that 40% of all
resumes aren't altogether above board.
One of the most common resume lies involves playing with dates to hide
employment gaps. Bogus college degree claims are also prevalent, even though
it's one of the easiest items to check. Another widespread set of tall tales
is embellishment of experience and accomplishments. Some job hunters will
say they were paid a higher salary at a previous job to get more money.
That's why companies and recruiters are now more commonly asking for a
recent pay stub or tax return. Imagine talking your way out of that.
As a matter of fact, almost 40% of human resources professionals surveyed
last year by the Society for Human Resource Management reported increased
time spent checking references. So think twice before you ship off your next
half-baked job application. Even if your moral compass doesn't keep you from
deceit, the fact that human resources is on to the game should. Just
remember, whenever you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you
Scam costs job seeker $1,800
Abridged: Chicago Sun Times
LAS VEGAS, NV -- Like many
people, Kelley Wilson just couldn't afford to lose $1,800. But that's what
happened last month when Wilson fell victim to a scam involving cashier's
checks & job sites that federal investigators say is sweeping the nation.
In Wilson's case, she was contacted by a company called Global Consumer
Services, which found her resume which she had posted online. The company
told her that she had been hired to be a "mystery shopper'' and that her job
was to test the MoneyGram wiring system at a Wal-Mart. Global Consumer sent
her a cashier's check for $1,800, which she deposited into her account.
Wilson then wired $1,620 to Canada, used $30 to pay the wiring fee and kept
$150 as payment for completing a report about the transaction. But days
after she deposited the check and wired the money from her account, she
found out her bank balance had been sapped. She also had a hard time
reaching people at Global Consumer. Federal and state officials issued an
alert about the scam.
Online Advertised job vacancies up to 3,141,800
Source: The Conference Board
NEW YOUR, NY -- In January
2007 there were 3,141,800 unduplicated online advertised vacancies,
according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series released
January 31st, 2007, which measures more than 1,200 major Internet job boards
and smaller niche and regional job boards
Those advertised vacancies include 1,987,800 new ads that did not appear in
December, as well as reposted ads from the previous month. In January 2007
there were 2.1 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the
national labor force. "January's job vacancy data points to a labor
that is definitely holding its own," said Gad Levanon, Economist at The
Of the 3 million plus job ads, the top ten occupations in demand were:
Management (354,800), Business and Financial Operations (277,900), Office
and Administrative support (257,200), Computer and Mathematical (256,200),
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical (239,400), Sales & Related (166,000),
Architecture and Engineering (165,200), Production (56,500), Installation,
Maintenance & repair (49,100), and Transportation and material moving
We need your
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referrals for. If the person you refer for one of these five positions is
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please visit us at
Director of Engineering (Southwest US & Europe)
Responsible for all engineering activities, including technology road maps,
research and development, processing engineering, product engineering, and
revenue generation for a Printed Circuit Board facility. Requires a Bachelor's
Degree. Direct manufacturing experience a big plus.
Department Managers – Imaging & Mechanical (China)
Supervisors and coordinates the activities of all personnel engaged in the
manufacture of printed circuit boards in their department. Take action to
resolve technical and/or personnel problems that may adversely affect
schedule/quality performance. Enforce shop rules and safety practices in
accordance with Company Policies. Assure product quality goals are met or
Process Chemical Engineer – Plating (Midwest & East Coast)
responsibility is sustaining of processes in the Plating area in support of the
manufacturing of printed circuit boards. Responsible for production support,
process evaluation, and improvement of manufacturing processes utilizing
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desired. Requires exceptional, demonstrated ability in both technical circuit
board technology techniques, and general communication and leadership skills.
Bachelor or Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, Industrial /
Manufacturing or related field preferred with 3-5 years experience in circuit
Quality Engineer -
handle and provides technical support to external and internal customers for
quality issues and facilitate the corrective action implementation. Provide
supervision, and assigning and supervising work direction of others.
is responsible and accountable for the coordination of the operational
activities associated with the manufacturing of Printed Circuit Boards to meet
or exceed requirements of quality and delivery performance to the end user.
include but are not limited to:
Achievement of production goals through managing improvement in production
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Analyzing the manufacturing process and developing, staffing and scheduling
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Establish, monitor and maintain performance measurements in yield, manpower
and throughput, ensuring they are visible throughout.
with counterparts in Engineering and Quality through participation in daily
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Participate in quarterly quality reviews, in addition to the continuous
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- Sign off
on process deviations and Engineering Change Notifications (ECN’s)
all new and revised process instructions
positive rapport with all support groups through a teamwork approach
develop train and appraise all members of production management staff
participate to ensure compliance of quality programs throughout
duties and projects as assigned.
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