The do’s and don’ts of counter offers!


Resignations are never easy. One always has so many mixed emotions. When your employer takes your resignation badly and offers you a tempting offer to stay, it’s even harder. While more money, a new title, more responsibility presented to you is flattering, how should you react to a counter offer?

Counter offers can be expected, especially if an employer is losing a valuable staff member. In today’s employment market, replacing staff is a burden that no employer wants to undertake. Finding replacement staff is expensive and time consuming. Aside from recruitment costs, training and induction of new staff takes time before the employee can take responsibility in the role.

It is for this reason that most employers will be quick to react to a resignation with a counter offer. The counter offer is normally quite substantial, to avoid further negotiation from the new employer. While the offer will blow you away and you will finally feel hugely appreciated, be well aware of the consequences of accepting a counter offer. The most important advice is to remember what motivated you to leave the company in the first place. Please don’t let more money cloud your judgement.

It is always a concern that the employer needs a resignation to suddenly show their appreciation of you and your value to the company. Are they really showing their appreciation? No they aren’t! It’s just a quick fix. As I said earlier, a whole lot easier to keep the staff you have!

If salary, however is your only motivation for wanting to resign, then you should be investigating ways in which to negotiate a salary increase with your company rather than looking elsewhere, using an offer to bully your way into a raise, is not the way to do business.

Often with a resignation, the trust is broken due to the fact that you have been looking elsewhere. If you decide to accept the counter offer, one needs to work hard to regain trust within your company. Colleagues also get resentful with the assumption that there was a monetary counter offer. Employers are well aware that you will always be on the lookout.

Accepting an offer at a new company and then accepting a counter-offer from your current employer means you will have to turn down the offer that you had initially accepted. The repercussions of reneging on a signed offer, is damaging to your credibility and moral standing. You could also potentially burn bridges with the recruitment agency and the company that that made you the offer.

If you decide to turn the counter offer down, do so with grace and don’t burn bridges. Show your appreciation for the offer and your time at the company. Turn it down respectfully and move on as your current employer has huge influence on your references and future employment.

In all my years of recruiting, most people who accept counter-offers find themselves looking for a job again within the next 2 years. Why? Because the reasons for them looking in the first place remain! A counter offer is a quick fix for the employer and a pacifier for the employee. If you were unhappy in your working conditions before you resigned, then more money won’t change the situation.

Moral of the story – Don’t accept a counter offer!

Written by Lee Dixie


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