2nd june 2016

The dangers of leveraging a job offer for a pay rise

In an increasingly competitive industry, there are opportunities for candidates to further their career however, how they go about it can have a long-lasting impact on their prospects and reputation.
We all know how competitive the automotive industry is at the moment when it comes to sourcing senior talent. While this competitiveness has afforded the opportunity to senior candidates to further their careers, on occasion, the manner in which these candidates negotiate their exit from their existing employer, can have a detrimental impact on their reputation and future career prospects.

There's nothing wrong with being ambitious. Nor is there anything wrong with having a belief in your own ability. On occasion however, this level of ambition can sometimes push people into a situation where they feel that in order to progress, they need to threaten their existing employer with the prospect of leaving the business.

Working in recruitment, as we do, salary negotiations and competing for senior vacancies, is par for the course. What we sometimes see however, are senior candidates using ill-judged techniques to force their existing employer either to offer them a substantial raise and/or to elevate their position within their current business.

Every candidate is entitled to approach their employer to discuss terms and conditions. But if this approach is done against the backdrop of leveraging an offer of alternative employment from a rival dealership, the current employer can sometimes feel like a gun is being put to their head.

More often than not, their existing employer will offer a newly created position or tweak their commission structure to meet their employee's demands.

While this might feel like a victory in the short term and that this move represents an improvement in terms of their position within the business and/or extra money in their back pocket, the long term impact of such a strategy can have a detrimental impact on career prospects, relationships within their current employment and their personal reputation within their network.
While this might feel like a victory in the short term and that this move represents an improvement in terms of their position within the business and/or extra money in their back pocket, the long term impact of such a strategy can have a detrimental impact on career prospects, relationships within their current employment and their personal reputation within their network.
We have come across these issues on a number of occasions throughout the last 12 months and the recurring theme is the fact that, irrespective of the increased salary or new job title, the overall impact is merely papering over the cracks in the existing employer-employee relationship. The fact that a candidate had to utilise a counteroffer from a rival dealership (and sometimes from within the same network) to renegotiate their terms, suggests a lack of trust between both parties, poor communication from the employer, in terms of the long-term career prospects available to their employees or an ill-advised attempt on the candidate's behalf to enhance their position in the short term.

How do we avoid these issues happening in the first place?


Employers and employees within the Motor Industry are far closer aligned on this issue than they might otherwise think. On one hand, employers desperately want to retain their key people, while on the other hand, senior employees want to be given every opportunity not only to enhance their careers but to be afforded the time and space by their employer to discuss issues which might be affecting them.

Dealerships who ignore festering employee concerns and who fail to put in place regular, structured feedback either through a performance appraisal process and/or individual performance meetings, run the risk of creating a communications vacuum which will be filled by mistrust, ambiguity and at worst, resentment.