Blog « Matchstar

Counter Offers – What to Do When Your Unappreciative Employer Comes Begging Back!

November 30th, 2016 by Tim Tonella


What a great feeling when your company gets wind that you’re “in play” and comes countering back with a vengeance . . . or is it?   For close to 20 years, we’ve seen this scenario unfold like an endless video replay:  “Boy decides to leave company. Company offers him the world.  Boy takes his counter goodies and stays.  Within 12 months, boy is unemployed!” 

Several studies have been done in the recruiting and staffing world showing that 50%-80% of all employees who accept counter offers and stay with their incumbent employer, end up voluntarily leaving within 6 months; while up to 90% are separated by month 12 (downsized, terminated, demoted).  National statistics are often higher, with several indicating up to 89% are gone within 6 months!  Sometimes this is voluntary, but more often not.  In either case, the process of threatening to leave, and then subsequently staying, changes many of the interpersonal dynamics that made your original stay so pleasant. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Things Every Candidate Must Know About Early Stage Equity

September 27th, 2014 by Tim Tonella

Stock CertificateHave you ever heard the expression a “Google Dream”?  We throw that around all the time in reference to the most envious of all Silicon Valley experiences – joining a start-up, having it magically become worth zillions of dollars, and parachuting out with tens of millions in equity value.  Kind of akin to going to Hollywood in the hope of a perfect audition, getting discovered by a hit-machine director, and hearing those immortal words:  “Baby, I’m going to make you a Star!” (puff a big one on your stogy when saying that).  Indeed, we hear about that friend of a friend of a friend who joined company XYZ a few years ago, parachuted out in a huge acquisition (hmmm, think WhatsApp), and is now a semi-retired angel investor, life-long vacationer, and global VIP!  Yep, this really does happen but with the frequency closer to that of a lotto winner than an everyday occurrence. Read the rest of this entry »

Recruiters Part 2 – Please Don’t Shoot the Messenger!

August 14th, 2014 by Tim Tonella

Shooting the messengerAs mentioned in our last blog post (“Recruiters Part 1 – Love Them or Hate Them . . . I Feel Your Pain”), I was schooled early on in my professional life about the realities of the executive recruiting industry.  And as technology has evolved over the past decade, so have potential access points for candidates to connect with us.  We had faxes and voice mail, then email and in-mail, and now social media.  But with each new channel came new road blocks, ranging from filled voice mail machines (probably by design), email auto-responders, LinkedIn ignore buttons, and Twitter messages with no response ever needed.  So after countless ill attempts to get a lengthy conversation scheduled with that key recruiter, do you throw up your hands or simply shoot the messenger?  Read the rest of this entry »

Recruiters Part 1 – Love Them or Hate Them . . . I Feel Your Pain

August 14th, 2014 by Tim Tonella

optimistic man pessimistic womanStephen Covey, in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, said:  “’Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”   I’m opening a small window into the lives of our recruiting partners in the hope that candidates will seek to understand us better before jumping to conclusions.  Nothing is more important to someone out of work – or potentially looking for work – than landing a job.  Ok, family is more important, but getting a job, or an even better one – may serve both those primary purposes.  But even more frustrating and irritating is when you know you are perfect for that dream role, but that dastardly gatekeeper – that executive recruiter – is standing in your way!  Read the rest of this entry »

How to Stand Out on a Resume . . . Every Time!

April 29th, 2014 by Tim Tonella

yellow umbrella


Perhaps the single greatest request I get from candidates is for feedback on their resumes.  Now, when I say “resume,” I’m really talking about any candidate-generated personal communication piece, which is often in the form of a social media profile, a traditional C.V., personal website, email intro letter, bio, video narrative, and so on.  And while each format can serve different purposes, one key component should always take center stage – that picture (or story) of your crowning achievements.

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The Optimal Way to Present an Offer to a C-Level Candidate

January 30th, 2014 by Tim Tonella

best practice on blackboardCEOs are constantly surprised when candidates – after months of endless courting and mutual interest – end up rejecting their offers.  If you take only one thing away from this blog, let it be the following:  “HOW you present the offer is as important as WHAT you present!”  No matter how calm, collected, and methodical a candidate may seem, the experience is still highly emotional; and one seemingly innocent mistake by the prospective employer can cause a great candidate to drop out of the process.  So how do we avoid this every time?  There are some definite time tested tactics – when employed correctly – that can prevent wide candidate emotional swings, actually encourage positive ongoing negotiations, and enhance the likelihood of the candidate accepting.  Having placed hundreds of C-level and VP folks, I can say from decades of experience that most of these basic “block and tackle” strategies are not followed in 50 percent or more of the cases. Read the rest of this entry »

Negotiating a Great Deal in the Face of a Low Ball Offer

November 5th, 2013 by Tim Tonella

Offer LetterHave you ever lived through this scenario? After endless interviews with senior management, meetings with the prospective board, a killer presentation of  your “first 90 days on the job” execution plan, and a long arduous sell to your significant other – you eagerly await that incredible offer from you new employer.   They love you (and have told you so); they understand what will motivate you (you’ve told them so), and they know exactly what they need to do to bring you on board (because the RECRUITER has told them so).  And then . . . that glorious offer comes in so low that the term “a box office bomb” would be an understatement!  Well this actually happens all the time, and knowing how to take the emotion out of the equation and understand what’s going on in the company’s mind, will be the difference between success and failure.  

Here’s a perspective on the potential gamesmanship that can happen with low ball offers, and how to turn a lemon into lemonade.  From a real life story, one of many . . .  

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Are You Too Qualified for that Perfect Position?

October 24th, 2013 by Tim Tonella

Business frustrationI wanted to re-publish a blog that was written a few years ago by MatchStar President Carolyne Connor, which was featured prominently on the home page of AlwaysOn under her widely read “Ask the Recruiter” column.   The concept of over qualification (or the perception thereof) is even more prevalent today, as baby boomers seek to expand their working years longer, transition times between jobs are greater, and the current employment market is trickier.  This excerpt is from a real Q&A session with a prospective leadership candidate.  

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