Ask the Recruiter – October 2018

I was offered a job last month and was all set to resign, however my current company upped my salary and convinced me to stay. I am now having second thoughts – what should I do?

Your question is not unusual. Due to it being a very candidate short market, research found that over 50% of people are counter-offered when they resign. Of those that stay, 50% are active in the job market within 60 days, 80% have left within 6 months and 90% have left within a year! The reason for this is that the counter-offer tends to be a knee-jerk response from the employer, and rarely fixes the underlying problem(s) that led to the employee wanting to leave.

Given that this is therefore a common issue, both recruiters and employers tend to be aware of it, and the savvy ones will have left a door open rather than burned bridges with the candidate who accepted the counter offer. Providing you feel that this door is open, I would recommend re-approaching the recruiter and client again – chances are they may not have filled the original role or may have a different role to consider you for. Providing you approach them with the right attitude, they are likely to re-consider you. If there is not an open door, or the employer is no longer hiring, I would start your job search again asap – the second thoughts inevitably get worse, and the sooner you confront the issue the better.

What is the etiquette on dress code for interviewing? Few offices seem to wear ties, or even suits nowadays so I don’t want to turn up overdressed, but likewise I don’t want to appear scruffy!

I always work on the basis that it is better to risk being smarter than expected than to dress down and find that this goes against you. Few companies will mark you down for being overdressed, although some might do so where image/culture is of special importance (I have heard of some PR agencies rejecting people for wearing suits). If you are using a recruiter, I would start by asking them – they are likely to have visited the company’s office before and have an insight to its culture. If you are not using a recruiter, you may gain this information from some Internet research – do they have a picture of the team/inside of the office on their web site for example? You could also phone the reception, explain that you are due to visit, and ask them what the typical dress code is. If you are still not sure, I would wear a suit/equivalent for most interviews, with a decision on whether to wear a tie based on how corporate you feel the company is. However, if it is for more of a creative agency interview, I would go smart casual.

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