Counter Offers - Should I stay or go?

September 29th, 2022

Negotiating a Counter Offer

After accepting a position with a new company, the time comes for you to hand in your notice. Your decision to leave could be muddled by your manager making you a counter offer!

Now you’re stuck in the middle between your current and potentially new employer: maybe feeling guilty, unsure now of your decision to leave (could it be easier to stay?) and your ego has just had a nice boost!!  Should I accept a counteroffer or stick to my guns and go ...?!

Counter Offers: are they on the rise?
Research has found that counter job offers are on the rise, because of an ever-shrinking pool of top talent and ever-increasing salary expectations from staff. From our recent experience, feeling appreciated by your employer, along with a good salary and prospects for development, greatly contributes to your sense of self-worth.
  • When a staff member hands in their notice, employers will often incentivise staff to stay by:
  • Promising an improved salary or a more desirable job title
  • Emphasising your importance and value to the company
  • Revealing that a promotion and/or pay rise had been kept confidential from you, until now
  • Modifying your reporting structure
  • Setting up a personal meeting for you with the MD or CEO before your final decision
  • Offer to try to change what was wrong and make promises of a new arrangement
Deal or no deal?
Put simply, it’s cheaper and less disruptive to appease existing staff rather than hire new people. It’s also advantageous to the employer to attempt to remedy issues within the company.

It’s time to examine your employer’s motives for suddenly offering you the things that could have prevented you from looking for a new job in the first place. After all, you’ve thought long and hard about handing in your notice, so ask yourself this: will the short-term fixes really be enough to keep you happy in the long term?

Here’s another way of looking at it: a counteroffer can be seen as a panic measure. Management will panic… who will do the work, possibly them!? How will they find someone else as good as you? The company will have to invest a lot of time to recruit and then train new staff. It’s much easier for an employer to keep you than to rehire …!!

Reasons why accepting a counteroffer could be a bad idea for you …
  • Your boss may just be buying time before bringing in your replacement
  • Handing in your notice then changing your mind can be perceived as disloyal
  • Disloyalty’ can affect your professional reputation – it’s a small world
  • Improved pay/perks/title/reports may not be commercially viable in the long term
  • Unfulfilled promises – will these changes actually be followed through? Really?
  • Increased risk of redundancy, since you’ve already threatened to leave
  • Why did you have to go any get a job offer to be heard!!
  • You have only received a counteroffer because you resigned. It is a purely reactive tactic from your employer and should make you wonder whether you need to resign every time you want to improve your situation. If your employer thought you were truly worthy, why didn’t they improve your situation anyway?
  • Do your reasons for wanting to leave still exist? You may have a number of reasons: salary too low, no promotion in sight, not liking your boss etc. You may be offered more money to stay, which can be tempting, but if you still have other issues outstanding, you’ll probably end up leaving further down the line.
Counter Offer: important questions for you to consider …
  • When you meet your manager to hand in your notice, ask yourself the following questions to prepare for a possible counteroffer:
  • What are their motivations for wanting me to stay?
  • Why did I start looking for a new job in the first place?
  • Why is my boss offering me this counteroffer?
  • Your boss maybe thinking he’s/she’s one of my best performers. How am I supposed to replace them, keep the team together and achieve budget?
  • What inconvenient timing – I was about to go on annual leave for 3 weeks!
  • Could your boss be trying to save face? How am I going to look to the board/senior management for losing this person?
  • How will accepting this counteroffer affect my long-term career goals?
  • Comparing the current and new job, which one offers real potential for growth?
What happens to employees who accept counteroffers? 89% leave within the first 6 months, and of only 6 out of the 100 employees are still with their company after 12 months.

With further investigations, two important points become apparent:
  • The salary was hardly ever the prime motivator for resigning – more money didn’t ultimately change the true state of play
  • Things didn’t take long to return to the way they were before the resignation
Before accepting a counteroffer, ask yourself why your employer has made the offer? There is a strong possibility that the cons will outweigh the pros and you will realise that your decision to resign was right after all.

If you would like any support or advice around this subject do not hesitate to contact Clare at Vardey Recruitment on 07816 873747