Why you shouldn’t accept a counteroffer…

When you make the decision to leave a company, it is usually due to several factors. From poor pay to no progression opportunities, the list can be endless. So, when we speak with candidates, we always ask why it is they’re leaving their current employer. Therefore, it’s frustrating in instances when a candidate accepts a new job offer but calls us a few days later to tell us their current employer has provided a counteroffer.

In this article we will look at some of the reasons why accepting a counteroffer isn’t necessarily going to make you happy in the long run, and some of the questions you should ask yourself to ensure you make the right decision for you.

What is a counteroffer?

A counteroffer is an offer made in response to another. In this article, when we discuss a counteroffer, we are talking about your current employer making you an offer once you’ve accepted a new role. This can be anything from an increase in salary, to better career progression.

Why do companies make counteroffers?

There are several reasons why your employer may make a counteroffer when you tell them you’re leaving. From the current skill shortage to the cost of employing a new staff member. What you need to ask yourself is why you are being provided with a counteroffer? And why you made the initial decision to leave?

It is easy for a company to offer you more responsibility, a new job title, or higher pay, but they don’t always follow through with this, and it doesn’t necessarily fix the problem you had. In fact, 80% of employees who accept a counteroffer from their current employer end up leaving within 6 months.

The statistics are overwhelming, yet time and time again, candidates accept counteroffers without hesitation. However, there are more reasons to turn down a counteroffer, than to accept it. Here are our top reasons why accepting a counteroffer isn’t necessarily the best decision:

Will it make you happy?

The reasons you decided to look for a new role in the first place won’t just go away with a higher salary, or the promise of a senior position. What motivated you to leave in the first place? That is what you need to think about before accepting a counteroffer.

It can damage your relationship with your employer

Accepting a counteroffer allows your employer to find a replacement. Statistics show that 9/10 employees leave within 12 months of being counteroffered. Your employer will know this and will have doubts over whether you’ll stick around.

This is a biggie: will things really change?

In our experience, we doubt it. Candidates who accept a counteroffer will often be back on the job market within 60 days. This takes us back to ‘will it make you happy’, what motivated you to leave in the first place? The likelihood of these things reoccurring, or things not changing, is high. If you felt undermined or unappreciated, then it’s likely you’ll continue to feel this way.

Why did it take you leaving, for your employer to recognise your value?

It’s a tough question but one you need to ask yourself. If your employer doesn’t recognise your talent, or value, until you decide to leave, then are they an employer worth working for? I doubt it. Before you decide to accept their counteroffer, really think about the reasons why you’re being made this offer, and if they are genuine.

Our last piece of advise is to ask you to consider what you’d do if your employer made a counteroffer, prior to looking for a new job. This saves a lot of time and money for your recruitment consultant, and any potential new employer. If you consider what you’d do, then you won’t be blindsided if your employer makes a counteroffer, and you’ll be in a position to make a more informed decision.

At a glance:

  • Ask yourself if a counteroffer will truly make you happy in your job role
  • Will things really change once you’ve accepted a counteroffer?
  • Why did it take leaving for your employer to recognise your value?

If you are looking for a new role, and know that it’s unlikely a counteroffer would make you stay at your current job, then get in touch with us. We currently have over 100 live roles on our website, under all 6 of our divisions. We have something for everyone, so be in touch here.