The Counter Offer Explained

As human beings we tend to think long and hard before deciding to look for a new job or career
opportunity, it normally means a big decision and a change of routine which is why we only move
roles on average 5 times in our whole careers. Happy employees do not look for new positions, it’s
is much easier for us emotionally to stay with the same company (most people don’t like change) so
the fact you are even considering a move right now is a sure sign that you are not happy with your
current employer.

We don’t make these decisions on a whim. Your weren’t happy last week and then unhappy this
week. The chances are you have been considering leaving your employer for weeks, probably
months and in some cases maybe even years.

So, you’ve decided it’s the right time for a new opportunity. You’re excited to take next step
forward in your career and you land a new position that you are passionate about. Often this also
means more money, better working hours, career progression or new development opportunities.
But when you give notice to your current employer, your current employer says, something along
the lines of “Tell me what they offered. I’ll match it or beat it.” Or “What can we do to stop you
Now what do you do?

As a rule of thumb 70% to 80% of people who accept counter offers leave within a year of doing so.
Why…. Well ultimately employers are quick to over promise when they feel backed into a corner.
They make all kinds of promises but unfortunately, they very often under delivered which is why the
likelihood of leaving very soon after this is so high.

Before jumping at a counter offer, think long and hard. Ask yourself this – If you were worth X
pounds yesterday, why is your company suddenly willing to now pay you Y pounds today? If there
wasn’t any career progression last week, how is that suddenly available this week? Your current
employer should value you as an employee and it shouldn’t take you to want to leave to be offered
the package or development you are worth.

We have consolidated the top reasons why you might consider not accepting a counter offer but
don’t take our word for it. Run your own search online and see for yourself.

Considering a counter offer

  1. Firstly, if you are being offered more money, where is the money for the counter offer coming
    from? Is it your next pay rise early? If so, will this just delay future rises?
  2. Why didn’t your employer address your concerns before you got to the point you wanted to
  3. Why are they offering you more money, career progression / development opportunities or additional training to you now? Valued employees should be offered this as a matter of course. Employers often make promises they can’t keep because it’s easier and cheaper for them to keep you than to recruit and train a new employee.
  4. Ask yourself, what type of employer do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you’re worth? This isn’t right.
  5. Ultimately the statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, there is a significant risk that you will move to a new role elsewhere within a year (remember the 70% to 80% figure!).

Accepting a counter offer

  1. Accepting a counter offer often makes candidates feel that they now “can’t leave”, almost as
    if the company have done them a favour by asking them to stay. They haven’t, you are good at what
    you do and that should have been realised by your employer before things got to this point.
  2. When promotion time comes around next year or the year after, will there be any more
    development available if they have given so much to you now?
  3. You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. Sometimes this can sour working
    relationships or make you / them feel differently. Do things feel the same?
  4. Accepting a counter offer very rarely changes the factors that drove you to look for a new job in
    the first place. It is easy for current employers to make promises, but are they likely to keep them if
    they haven’t so far?
  5. “The mind once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” Ralph Waldo
    Emerson. You are unhappy with your current employer, so much so that you have decided to take
    the brave step to leave. Are you really all of a sudden going to be happy? This is really the question
    you need to answer.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this blog and if you have any questions please
get in touch.