The competitor offers you a job, what do you do?

In a competitive world where skilled labour is scarce, companies sometimes solicit employees from their competitors. What should you do if a competitor solicits you… and offers you a better salary?

Your phone rings: the competition wants to poach you. His argument: a higher salary than in your current company. While the prospect of extra dollars on the pay slip is always attractive, you shouldn’t get carried away. There are many other criteria to consider, both for you and your current employer.

First of all, check your employment contract! If your boss has made you sign a non-competition clause, the competing offer, no matter how attractive, may be right under your nose.

Such a clause is legal if it complies with the Civil Code of Quebec. It must be specifically written and be limited reasonably in the duration, territorial scope and type of employment it concerns.

Reasonableness is determined according to the legitimate interests of both the employer and the employee. A waiter – no matter how talented – will not be subject to the same restrictions as an account manager. In the event of a dispute, it is the court that validates or invalidates the clause.

This clause is becoming increasingly common in areas of skilled employment. The employer wishing to poach you will not be surprised if you have signed one and will probably be prepared to negotiate with your company. In any case, it is best to put your cards on the table to avoid a compromising situation, where your former employer could legally turn against your new boss, to whom you would have omitted to talk about this important clause in your contract .

Determine your benefits…

Once you have clarified the legal aspect, take the time to carefully evaluate the offer you are being offered. Salary is not the only argument! It may be higher right away, but what happens afterwards?

Opportunities for advancement should be seriously considered. Your seniority in your current company may give you privileged access to an impending promotion for which you would no longer have to prove yourself. Your boss trusts you and can offer you a high level of responsibility with an adjusted salary. This could considerably reduce the financial interest of the competing offer.

In addition, you may enjoy benefits specific to your current business. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find as good a dental plan, as many sick days or vacation opportunities!

Finally, find out more about the company’s culture and values. The work environment can play a fundamental role in your well-being that a small wage gap cannot buy. Think about it!

…and negotiate!

After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of a competing offer, also consider the fact that your current employer may be willing to keep you on the job. Perhaps they may be willing to make you a counter-offer. An offer from a competitor is a good lever to negotiate a salary increase in your company. If you are wanted elsewhere, it means that your value has been recognized. Maybe you should let them know…

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