When you're in the process of looking for a new job, it's become increasingly more common to receive a counter-offer from your current employer when you have the opportunity to leave. They typically come up with this counter-offer to try and entice you to stay with the business and there are often a number of reasons that they might do this. In this blog, we discuss the reasons why you should consider declining your counter-offers in order to keep your options open.
What Is A Counter-Offer?
A counter-offer is usually an offer that's made in response to another offer. In the world of recruitment, it's seen as an employer's bid to keep a high performing employee from leaving the company, which is typically made once the employee has handed in their notice. The counter-offer is intended to make you reconsider your official resignation and it usually promises a salary increase, promotion, or other perks.
There's a number of reasons that your existing company might offer you a counter-offer. For example, you may have proved yourself to be a valuable member of the team or you could have a certain set of skills that nobody else at the company has - and then there's the factor that recruiting new staff can be an expensive option for a company.
A lot of job seekers may be tempted to accept the offer and it's easy to understand why they would - it usually consists of a higher salary or promotion, along with some added perks that you didn't have before. Sticking with your current job is also likely to be an easier option as you're in your comfort zone, around people you already know and your usual routine etc, where as taking on a new job can feel daunting as it's completely different.
It's extremely important to think about why you decided to look for another job in the first place. Whether that's because you weren't feeling valued or you felt as though there weren't many career progression opportunities. Considering your feelings before receiving the counter-offer is crucial, as you need to think about whether staying is worth it or not for you and your future. Here are some of the reasons why we think a counter-offer isn't always worth it:
Factors to Consider Before Accepting a Counter-Offer:
Salary isn't everything - Even though your counter-offer may include a higher salary than the one you're currently on, it's very unlikely to have a lasting effect on how you feel about other factors of the role or company. Even if it was your salary that encouraged you to look for another role with higher pay in the first place, is it going to be something that occurs again when you're due for a pay review? This is something that will leave you feeling undervalued and unmotivated if it doesn't work out the way you had planned.
Questionable Loyalty - It won't matter how great your relationship is with your current employer, if you're receiving a counter-offer in response to your resignation, your loyalty will most likely be questioned as an employee, both when you receive your counter-offer and in the future.
Even if your current role has room for promotions and opportunities for professional growth, theres a high chance that you won't be the first employee that they pick during these times.
Resigning breaks the initial trust that was first there with your employer and other employees, and there's a chance that it could hinder future success at your workplace. So even if your counter-offer sounds like a great deal, you will most likely progress more at a new job without your loyalty being questioned.
Underlying Issues - There are usually many reasons that you may want to leave your current job - it could be the hours, working environment, or maybe it could be that you just don't like the job in general.
When you receive your counter-offer, the only thing that usually changes is normally the salary - causing issues in the future. Having an increase in pay seems to be an appealing offer and option at first, which usually compels people to accept the offer. However, you need to consider how you're going to feel in the future of the role, are you still going to find the same issues disheartening? Around 50% of people who accept their counter-offers end up leaving for a new job within the first 12 months, due to underlying issues that weren't resolved.
Delaying Long Term Goals - People will often hand in resignations or look for other jobs when they realise their current position doesn't fit the original picture they had for their ideal life or goals. If you're considering accepting a counter-offer, you need to look at the whole picture, as you could potentially be denying your dream job opportunity.
When you're thinking of accepting a job offer or a counter-offer, you need to make sure that the position meets your long-term goals. There isn't any point in investing time and energy into something that you can't see yourself doing for a longer period of time. So before accepting any offer, think about whether you're going to be happy and enjoy doing the role.
A Cost-Saving Measure - This may not be the definite reason behind a counter-offer, but in some cases, it's a lot more cost effective to retain an existing employee rather than going through the hiring process which is a significant hiring expense for a business. This is especially an issue where the role requires highly skilled individuals.
If you feel as though this could be the main reason behind the counter-offer you've received, there may not actually be a real benefit in staying, as it can definitely hamper your career development.
Stalling Tactic - Similar to a cost-saving measure, some employers have been known to use a counter-offer as a stalling tactic. Employers will often offer a pay rise to retain you short-term as it can be seen as an inconvenience to them and the team to lose a competent and experienced employee.
It's a lot easier to counter an offer with more money than to simply address the real problem. It's not unheard of for an employer to also start searching for a replacement who is willing to accept a lower salary with a similar set of skills to your own.
There are a few reasons that you may receive a counter-offer, and there are many factors that you should consider before accepting one. Of course it's down to the individual in making the decision that is going to have an affect on your future and career - but it's something that may take some time to think about.
In most cases, the best thing for the employee to do is to move forward with the offer from the new employer. Simply because they've seen your potential and are willing to invest in you. This will usually result in a much more productive relationship with your new employer, whilst offering you brand new opportunities and challenges to help you progress in your future of employment. It's best to look at the counter-offer as recognition of your skills and achievements within your current company.
Here at TRG, we decided to conduct a poll with LinkedIn users as we were curious to see who would be willing to accept a counter-offer. Asking the question "Would you be willing to accept a counter-offer from your current company if you had been offered a new role elsewhere?" with it being a 50/50 result of the answers yes and no.
Regardless of your decision, make sure that with any offer you decline, you leave things on a positive note as you may want to follow up on an offer with this person at some point in the future. If there was a recruiter involved in the recruitment process, make sure you also end things positively with them as well - as you never know when you may need their assistance again.