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Receiving multiple job offers from different employers is flattering as a C-suite executive – it’s a recognition of your capabilities and achievements. However, handling these offers appropriately and effectively requires careful evaluation to ensure that you make the right choice for your career.
Here we’ll be discussing all the key considerations that will help you through dilemmas and onto the best possible path forward.
Any time you receive an interesting job offer, be sure to ask: will it help you meet your goals? If not, you should be prepared to reject the offer.
Daniel Yates, Senior Partner at Page Executive, commented:
Before you start your search for a new role, take the time to decide what is important to you. This will usually be a combination of factors, including values, culture, development, and compensation. When you receive an offer, I advise that you look at it in isolation and consider it based on its own merits. If you are happy with the offer and it delivers what you are looking for, the best option is to accept the offer. You are better off doing this than getting into conversations about counteroffers and playing potential job offers off against one another.
It’s especially important to make a thorough appraisal when dealing with multiple job offers at the C-suite level. Factors like salary are, of course, important. But there are many other considerations that could prove more impactful in the long run.
Here are a few to think about for each offer on the table:
1. Will it help you reach your goals?
Workplace satisfaction is an important driver for executives – that’s why when a leader makes a career change, they almost always have a clear goal in mind. Before you decide which offer to accept, think about what your key push and pull factors, personal aspirations, and drivers are. This will help you to identify the opportunity which truly helps you on the way to your next big achievement.
2. Is the company’s employee value proposition (EVP) competitive?
A company’s EVP is everything it offers to its people and to prospective new hires to attract and retain them. Consider whether they are offering enough to edge out other employers who may also want to hire you for the same role. Find out whether the remuneration, from salary and equity to benefits and bonuses, meet your expectations and compare favourably with industry benchmarks for your experience levels.
3. Does it suit your experience and expertise?
Leaders have distinct experiences and skillsets, and different jobs will compliment and build on them to different extents. Is the prospective employer’s strategy and vision aligned with your aspirations? Will the role help you build the legacy you want to leave?
4. Does it meet your work-life balance criteria?
We all have different lives and personal factors to consider when evaluating a job offer. If you need specific allowances like flexible or remote working, now is the time to ensure that you get them. 5. Do you like the company culture?
To achieve long-term success with a company, you will need to feel that you share common values and ethics, as well as having comparable ways of working. Are you on the same page when it comes to issues like sustainability, or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)? Is the culture of the company a good fit for your preferred style of operating and leading? All of these are important questions to run through before accepting an offer.
Given the fluidity of the economic and political landscape, it is critical to give the right level of attention to the details of all prospective roles. A fundamental aspect of a leadership appointment is the structure, chemistry, vision, and strategic priorities of the board in question. That’s why you must undertake a thorough due diligence process for a successful transition.
To provide yourself with the stability and security you need, we have laid out some terms to seek from each company: Target bonuses. In addition to your base salary, you should receive a performance-related bonus for the value you bring to the company in your role. It is also important to understand when bonuses are paid, and the exact composition thereof. For instance, what percentage is cash, deferred cash, and shares, and what is the timeline of the payment of deferrals?
Sign-on or guaranteed bonus and other benefits. This should make up for the compensation you will lose by changing companies. Most employers will require you to show evidence of your previous bonus figures to justify your sign-on or guaranteed bonus. As well as this, consider benefits like private healthcare, insurances, and holiday allowance. Meaningful equity stake. Not all companies offer equity, and the percentage of your equity interest in the company will vary based on the company’s maturity. However, it should be reflective of the value you bring. This is particularly important for start-up firms and heavily growth- or transformation-focused roles.
A buy-out of unvested deferred compensation. In many cases, especially in finance and financial services, the hiring company will ‘buy out' deferred bonus awards, which will have been cancelled by the current/former employer upon resignation.
If the recruiting firm is PRA- (Prudential Regulation Authority) regulated, they will require you to provide evidence via a 'remuneration statement' from your previous employer. This will be particularly important for ‘material risk takers’ (MRTs) at PRA-regulated banks. Termination of contract and severance pay. In the event that the company terminates your contract without a suitable reason, or breaches of your contract by the employer lead you to terminate your position, your contract should contain means for you to recoup lost value.
It is therefore worth considering the potential financial costs to you of leaving the company. Will you need to pay back any costs, like guaranteed/buyout bonuses, shares, or other costs associated with your hire, such as relocation?
Other considerations. Will the new firm allow you to join or continue other executive board positions or do executive consulting? If you are joining an FCA regulated firm, will you and your family members have potential conflict of interests and therefore need to sell security holdings or resign from board positions?
We are in a competitive recruitment market, especially for executive positions, and companies are working hard to cling onto their best people. After accepting an offer and signing the contract, many candidates receive counteroffers of higher salaries from their soon-to-be former employers.
Our advice in this instance is to remember that while the company may truly value you, your reasons for wanting to leave likely have not changed. By staying, you will lose the opportunity you are currently presented with. And, more importantly, you could lose credibility with your current company, while your long-term loyalty may be questioned.
Simon Lindrea, Senior Partner at Page Executive, commented:
Our experience indicates that most candidates who accept counteroffers leave within a year anyway. And, though you may be tempted to use that counteroffer as leverage with your new company, such a tactic will often have negative consequences – your future employer may even go as far as rescinding the offer altogether.
If you handle the situation well, you can ensure that your relationships with both your new and former employers remain strong, placing you in the most advantageous position for the future.
At Page Executive, we take the time to truly understand the priorities and ambitions of all the candidates we work with. This allows us to provide expert guidance during complex negotiations and career transitions.
If you are looking for a new role, please get in touch today on the details below:
Tara Bagley, Partner, Page ExecutiveE: [email protected]
Sarah Bradley, Partner, Page ExecutiveE: [email protected]
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