Don’t Get Sucked into the Poisonous World of Counteroffers

Despite the economy’s ups and downs, companies are trying to keep the best talent because they are not able to find and hire qualified workers fast enough. So that’s why counteroffers to employees who get job offers are becoming more common. And the main reason for making a counteroffer is to hold onto employees with hard-to-find skills.

What is a counteroffer?

A counteroffer happens when you have accepted another employment offer and your current employer comes back with new terms (salary, bonuses, senior role, etc.)

If you faced any kind of problems, be open and communicate with your boss. Don’t solve problems by running away, taking another opportunity just because it’s easy to avoid unpleasant discussion about your problems won’t solve anything, act like adult. Avoiding the discussion is not always the best way forward. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Reasons that companies make counteroffers

  • They don’t want to fill a vacancy within the timescale associated with your notice period.
  • Costs connected with hiring (time of hiring a team, fees for agencies and/or for advertising, costs for training).
  • Employer just buying himself time to find a replacement for you.

What methods your employer is going to use

First of all, there will be the shock that you are going to leave and lots of questions about why are you not happy or where is the problem. If the company is trying to keep you they will start with:

  • Promises or future considerations.
  • Unveiling new plans for your current role.
  • Presenting new challenges that you will have within their company.
  • We were just about to give you a promotion and a big raise.
  • They will point out the emotional attachments with current work colleagues (“Without you, the team will be incomplete,” “You’re too valuable, and we need you,” etc.).

Considering a counter offer?

Examine your initial reasons for wanting to change employment, money is still a huge motivator for many employees, but it is important when considering a counteroffer that you always keep in mind what your reasons were for pursuing a job with another company in the first place. So ask yourself the following questions:

First question needs to be always:

  • Does the counteroffer eliminate the reasons why you decided to leave?

Others questions:

  • If you stay, will your boss or the team take your resignation and interpret it as disloyalty?
  • Is the new challenge and counteroffer good enough for you to stay?
  • Do you have possibility for career progression at your current job?
  • Is your boss just buying time to find a replacement?
  • If the company is offering more money for your work, ask yourself where was this appreciation in your last promotion/performance review?

Why not to accept a counteroffer?

While it may be tempting to accept it, research shows that accepting a counteroffer can affect your career. If you accepted a counteroffer, you’ve already compromised your loyalty in the eyes of your boss or at least some in the company. You will have the mark of the person who is already thinking about leaving the company and if your boss needs to fire somebody from the team, your name will probably be at the top of his list.

  • You can be expensive for your company and will likely be replaced by someone who is considered more loyal and cheaper.
  • Accepting a counteroffer can be career suicide.
  • Your employer may begin the cutbacks with you, during tough times.
  • Reasons for wanting to quit will still remain although they may be temporarily shaded.
  • Accepting a counteroffer is most likely an emotional rather than an intellectual decision. You feel that your team is not going to survive without you. Don’t worry, they will survive so move forward.

What to do when you accept the counteroffer?

If you decide to accept the counteroffer and stay with your current company, it is important to remember that your resignation has not been forgotten. And you need to work twice as hard to regain employer’s trust. You need to do what is in your best short and long-term interests.

Counteroffers don’t work!

It is very rare that a counteroffer is successful in the long term. The main reasons that you started looking for a new job reappear again and/or your current employer won’t be able to keep all of the promises they have made in the counteroffer. You already had a reason that you thinking about leaving, because there’s something you want out of your job or career that you aren’t receiving with your current employer.

Each counteroffer situation is different though. But it’s your career after all!

What are you experience with counteroffers?