Counter offers: Should you stay or should you go?
Having found your next career opportunity you meet your manager to announce the news only to be confronted with a job counter offer.
Before accepting a counter offer, it’s important to consider the factors behind your decision to leave your current employer – and not to quickly succumb to the short term gains that may be offered to you.
Your employer is likely to have gone through this a few times before, and will probably look at using a mixture of tactics to entice you to stay:
- Guilt – How can you leave us? You’re part of the team and we have been together for a long time.
- Ego – We need you (well, until we find someone else). What will happen to the projects you have worked so hard on?
- Concern – We never knew you were unhappy. What can we do to make it better?
- Exciting opportunity – A sudden internal career opportunity has arisen.
Should I accept a current employer counter offer?
Before you get taken in by a sudden show of affection and accepting a current employer counter offer – it is worth taking a few minutes to consider why it is in their interest to keep you:
The financial cost of bringing in someone new is significant. As well as the salary there will also be an agent fee (normally around 20% of the first year’s salary).
There is a hidden cost of bringing someone new into the business – that is, the manager’s time that needs to be spent looking for the right candidate, interviewing and then bringing the new person up to speed.
New staff can slow a business down and if a team is performing well, it’s safer to keep them as they are.
Counter offers: Problems after accepting
Now we understand why they want to keep you, it’s worth considering how life will be after accepting the job counter offer:
The real reason
What was the real reason for you looking to leave? Will the new internal opportunity really change that, or will it just postpone the inevitable?
The loyalty and trust which took so long to create will forever be in question, the employer will always think twice before allocating any meaningful long term projects as they perceive your propensity to leaving mid-way through the project to be high.
Is a well-thought-out career move worth giving up for a short term salary gain?
Handling a job counter offer is not always easy and if you want to have a chat or are in need of professional advice on how to turn down a counter offer, feel free to contact us.
Found this interesting? Take a look at our guide to interview tips and coaching.