The Hidden Dangers of The Counter Offer

Tagged:Candidate, interview tips, Salary Report
The Hidden Dangers of The Counter Offer

If you choose to accept the offer of a new job and hand in your resignation to your current employer, you must be prepared to resist powerful, persuasive tactics your employer can use to change your mind.

You can breathe a huge sigh of relief. You finally receive an offer of employment from a great company. You’ve told your partner, boasted to your parents and had a great chat with the cat and dog too. Your career is firmly in a forward gear. And then. Bang. Your soon-to-be ex-boss calls you into their office, it seems there is a counteroffer on the table. What do you do?

These will include more money, promises of company-wide expansion, improved working conditions, more responsibility (or less if you are already overworked) or even a promotion.

Sometimes a counter offer can be exactly what you are looking for.

But these cases are rare and invariably people who accept a counter offer will continue to seek employment elsewhere because the real reasons for wanting to leave have not changed.

For a recruiter, there is only a limited influence we can have on counter offers. We can provide our experience that it is far more likely for people to regret accepting a counter offer than rejoicing about it. But ultimately this is a decision which has more cons involved than pros.

10 reasons to say no to a counter offer:

  • Is it really that easy to buy you off?
  • Will accepting the counter offer change the underlying reasons for you wanting to leave?
  • Accepting a counter offer is insulting to your career progression decision-making abilities.
  • Hang on, shouldn’t your company have paid you what you are worth before you handed in your resignation, is that really what it takes?
  • There is a risk that higher management will now consider you as an employee prepared to play them off against a competing company for your material and salary benefit and you won’t ever be seen in the same light.
  • Now they know you want to leave, is it just a matter of time before they get their ship in order and replace you in their good time?
  • Have you just made it to the top of the ‘people considered for redundancy list’?
  • Your employer knows that even if you accept the counter offer, chances are you’ll be gone within six to twelve months anyway.
  • Counter offers leave everyone involved with a bad taste in their mouths, trust and loyalty issues are just two.
  • Your industry is often smaller than you think, you do this once and it will become known by your future boss too, because sooner rather than later, there will be a new company and a new boss!

In our experience, looking deeper into the underlying reasons that people want to leave their jobs, even if they say ‘it’s purely for financial reasons’, it usually isn’t that simple. Not every company has a culture suited to all, not every boss offers support or motivation.

Offering someone more money is usually a quick fix and does not address the real issues of why you wanted to leave in the first place.

Have Your Say