The Counter Offer

You’ve made it through the selection and interview process and you’ve been offered the job – you may think that the tough part is now done…until your current employer makes an enticing offer for you to stay. What now?

In the current market, if you are considered to be a high calibre and valued employee with a good track record in the company, it is highly likely that your employer will try to prevent you from leaving.

All organisations want to hang onto their ‘top talent’ - replacing staff costs money, it’s time-consuming, inconvenient and can cause disruption within the department. It is easier for an employer to entice YOU to stay with offers of more money, better benefits or a change of role, than it is to try to recruit another YOU.

While counter-offers are flattering and often may be tempting, it is wise to put as much thought into weighing up the internal offer as you put into the external option. So, to help you in making the right choice, here are some points to consider with regards to the counter offer:

  • Research shows that if you accept a counter-offer, it is extremely likely that you will be looking again for a new job inside of 6 months. This is because often the underlying reasons why you wanted to leave will still be there and will be there in the future. In all likelihood your employer is already planning for your departure, on the assumption that you will soon leave anyway.
  • If you have to wait to resign before a company will meet your needs, that opens up a raft of questions concerning how proactive and engaged they are in listening to you and helping you meet your career aims.
  • Once the company knows you looked outside, they often never view you in the same light again – you may not be seen as the loyal team player you once were! The next time your boss is thinking about who to promote, your perceived lack of loyalty may count against you.
  • If they increase your salary now, there is a danger that you will simply get less of a rise in the future.
  • Be careful not to price yourself out of the market for your next external move if you have had a large salary increase as you may be overpaid in relation to your role. This can make your next move challenging in matching your salary.

Don’t let a counter offer throw you off course; take the time to give serious thought to your decision. It is inevitable you will be feeling confused, under pressure and pulled in various directions… but remember, you have successfully completed the interview process, been offered the job and your new employer will already be planning towards you joining them.

Thank your current employer for the opportunity and stand your ground as to why you want to leave… all that is left is for you to fulfil your notice period requirements and start getting excited about your new challenge and opportunity!

Written by

Gill Buchanan

Gill is a founding Director of Pure and has worked in recruitment since 1988, including eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company and five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Gill’s approach is to provide clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. She has a consultative style which has led to her building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates.