Blog Img

The counter offer; Should I stay or should I go now…?

Back to Blogs

The counter offer conundrum rolls on, you can go back 4, 5 even 6 years and find blogs, research and statistics stating how they are on the rise, at an all time high, what you should do if you find yourself being counter offered and whether there is ever a reason to accept one, but the fact remains the likelihood of receiving one still remains extremely likely and candidates are still accepting them despite the statistics that speak for themselves.

80% of candidates that accept counter offers from a current employer end up leaving after 6 months.

So what should you do? Being prepared is the key, understanding your motives for seeking alternative employment in the first place and your employer’s motives for trying to keep you helps you make the right decision and avoid making one purely based on flattery.

What could be driving your current employer to counter offer?

-        To retain your valuable knowledge of the business

-        You have a niche skill that may be hard to replace

-        To save on the cost of hiring and onboarding your replacement

-        To avoid increasing the workload of your team

-        To keep up team morale

-        Lack of time to recruit

-        You have a time sensitive project they would like you to complete

Not many, if any of those reasons would appear to be in your best interests.

Why do you want to leave your current company?

-        You want more money – only 19% of employees leave because of a low salary.

-        You can’t see opportunities for career progression

-        You’re unhappy with the culture of the business

-        You want more flexibility

-        You want greater support for learning and development

It is highly likely that it isn’t just one aspect of your current company that is driving your desire to leave but probably a combination of a few.

Being prepared

It is a good idea to write a list of all the reasons you want to leave and give them score in terms of importance, then write a list of all the reasons you are going to accept the new job offer and give them a score in terms of importance. Now look at your counter offer, how many of the reasons you had for leaving are you confident will be resolved if you stay?

It's more than likely that the only aspect of your role that will change if you accept a counter offer is your salary, but why are you only now being offered more money? Because all of a sudden your true value has hit them between the eyes, because there is no one else that can do the job like you or because the easiest thing to do to avoid that long list of things that is driving them to counter offer is to offer you more money? I think we know the answer…

If it is about money and that is your only reason to seek alternative employment, you will be in a much better position if you go and speak to your line manager about your concerns around salary prior to looking for a new job, rather than using a job offer to leverage a salary increase.

Accept a counter offer; what are the possible consequences?

Wage stagnation

All businesses have budgets with salary guidelines, a counter offer that includes a salary increase is more than likely a future raise received early, so don’t expect another increase any time soon.

Damaged relationships with peers

If word of your offer gets out about your new package, resentment may build with a feeling that you were able to get increased benefits by just handing your notice in.

Stunted career development

After the initial relief from your employer about your acceptance to stay, your loyalty may well come under question and there is a chance you’ll l be overlooked for promotions or significant projects. You may also be top of the list when it comes to redundancies too.

Your original reasons for leaving may resurface

As we’ve already touched on, more often than not your reasons for wanting to leave or much than just salary, accepting a counter offer purely based on a salary increase means it is highly likely that those issues that gave you cause to seek a new role in the first place will rear their ugly head again and promises of cultural change will not last long and you’ll be back job hunting again.

Reputational Damage

Going all the way through the hiring process only to accept a counter offer isn’t the best way to establish professional relationships with prospective employers or indeed within the sector you work in. You may decide to accept a counter offer now but you never know when you may need to call on your professional relationships and rely upon a good reputation.

Counter offers can be both flattering and confusing, but the decision to accept one is likely to have a significant impact on your career so shouldn’t be taken lightly. Understanding your reasons for wanting to leave and remaining true to these will help to ensure you don’t make the wrong decision. Speaking to your recruitment consultant, getting their advice and getting their help to manage your future employer’s offer will make the whole process easier.

Check if you are being paid competitively with our 2022 Salary Guides.