It’s more and more common now for candidates who give notice to be made a counter-offer by their current employer. It’s always interesting to see what an employer will offer when the alternative is losing an employee. But is it a good idea to accept a counter-offer?
The intimidating 'unknown'
No matter how much research you do, starting a new job always has an element of uncertainty. Will there be conflicts with other team members? What’s the office culture actually like? Is there anything unexpected that won’t sit well?
If the money is good, a counter-offer can be very tempting. But have you considered what will your relationship with your management be like now they are aware you’ve been looking to leaving? Will accepting a counter-offer outweigh your reasons wanting to leave in the first place?
Why did you want to leave?
Deciding to leave a job is almost never about just one thing. Polls we’ve run in the past have seen people reference burnout, a need for a new challenge, perceived lack of support, not being able to progress in a career, and stagnant salary earnings as reasons for why they would leave their current workplace.
Counter-offers do sometimes include promotions or perks alongside a pay rise. Whilst these offerings seem to calm your initial frustrations, sometimes it can be only a temporary fix for your career ambitions. After all, if it takes leaving to get promoted once, you’ll soon be frustrated with the lack of advancement again if you choose to stay.
Why were you leaving before they acted?
If your employer is willing to offer a pay rise, they see value in you. But how long has it been since your last pay increase? Has your employer been underpaying you up until that point? Have you talked through your frustrations with your employer before now?
The big questions are: why hasn’t your employer taken action to recognise your value? Could be miscommunication or a sign of long-term neglect?
With these questions in mind, it’s worth considering whether accepting a counter-offer will truly provide you with the change you’re looking for.
Does your employer have your best interests in mind?
Retaining a valued employee is always preferred by employers because of the costs associated with hiring and training a replacement. Although, if an employer was expecting to retain your services for your original salary, they may be frustrated when having to pay you the extra money you deserve. Similarly, some employers don’t like the idea of anyone being willing to leave. Whilst your employer may still counter-offer, they may be only keeping your role filled whilst they search for a replacement hire.
What to consider before accepting a counter-offer
If you’re looking for a new role, the odds are that you’ll receive an offer sometime soon. But it’s best to think about whether a counter-offer would sway your decision to move ahead of time. This way you’re much more likely to make the right choice.
As well, talking through a counter-offer with your recruiter will always be beneficial. As a recruiter, it is reassuring to know if a candidate is committed to accepting a job; counter-offer regrets down the line can mean you lose out on the opportunity to work a role better suited for you.