I am reading “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. He wrote about a situation where someone on his team was offered a better paying job on another team. He challenges us to consider – When that person is working on a critical project, should we match the offer?
Ben says “you save the project, but you pile on the debt.” What debt?
You probably think that your counteroffer was confidential because you’d sworn them to to secrecy. Let me explain why it was not.
They have friends in the company. When they go the job offer, they consulted with their friends. One of those friends advised them to take the offer. When they decide to stay, they have to explain why they disregarded the advice (else they lose personal credibility).
So, they explain the counter-offer and swear their friend to secrecy. But, they are angry to find out that someone has to threaten to quit to get a proper raise. Or, they are angry that you overcompensated someone to save the project.
Therefore, they pass along the story to others…maybe withholding the name of the original person. However, everyone on the team now knows that the best way to get a raise is to generate an offer from another company and threaten to quit.
It’s going to take you a long, long time to pay off that debt.
Thanks for listening.