Handling Counter Offers

How to Handle a Counter Offer

If you resign and your employer decides to offer you a more attractive salary or overall job package in order to persuade you to stay, you have been “counter offered”. Counter offers are more common than you might think. Recruiting quality people can be an expensive and time-consuming process for employers and you might unexpectedly find yourself in an awkward position.

If your employer tries to persuade you to stay by offering you a pay rise equal to, or above your new job offer, you might first want to ask yourself why it took the action of leaving, to bring it about. Secondly your employer may also make some additional promises i.e. new responsibility bringing new challenges and skills. Be very careful and get written guarantees on both counts before declining any external offers. Even if you trust your employers you must have solid guarantees other wise you are exposed.

A very high proportion of candidates that accept counter offers are back on the market looking for a new career opportunity within 3 months. Regrettably most of these candidates will have missed out on that opportunity first time round by accepting a counter offer. In the trade we call these “counter productive offers”. As this is the effect it can have on your career.

Most of us are easily flattered and the offer of more money, coupled with colleagues telling you “the place won’t be the same without you” can easily make you forget the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place. Don’t feel guilty and always take the time to think the situation through carefully before responding to a counter offer. It is usually a good idea to discuss it with your friends and family who may offer a more objective viewpoint. Once you have made a decision, stick to it and handle the situation in a professional and courteous way for the benefit of all parties concerned.