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How to Handle a Counter Offer

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How to Handle a Counter Offer

Posted on October 2019 By Elle Elkins

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​Congratulations! After a phone screening, two face to face interviews and hours of prep, you’ve finally accepted an offer for the job you wanted.

No doubt you’ll be feeling relived and excited but also now apprehensive. How will your current line manager take the news? Will they be understanding? Shocked? Angry?

Here are some common thoughts your boss may have:

·        Where are you going?

·        You’re one of my top performers, how will we hit target now?

·        I have annual leave coming up, what will the board think of me?

·        How can I get you to stay?

If you have proven yourself to be a valuable member of the team, your company will not want to see you leave- particularly if you’re going to a competitor. They may convince you to stay by either:

·        Offering a salary increase, a promotion or new title, additional company benefits, a change in your role or any combination of these.

·        Making you feel guilty or disloyal.

·        Telling you how much they appreciate and value you, even when they have not said or demonstrated this in the past.

Whilst good for the ego, there are many things to consider before accepting a counter offer:

·        A counter offer is a reactive tactic. If you are worth an increased salary and additional responsibilities and your employer is in a position to offer this at the point of you resigning, why haven’t they offered it to you before now? Perhaps part of your reason for wanting to leave is because you felt undervalued and you should consider whether you need to resign every time you want to improve your situation.

·        If it’s not about the money, would your reasons for leaving still exist after you accept a counter offer? Perhaps you don’t get on with your boss/ colleague or you don’t like the office environment? Any manner of issues such as these would not necessarily change with your salary and responsibilities within the company.

·        Despite an attractive counter offer, your employer may now consider you a “flight risk” and see you as disloyal or not a true team player. The offer may even be an interim tactic to bridge a gap whilst they make contingency plans to replace you.  Or, if a situation like a promotion or restructure were to arise, you may not be viewed favourably when compared to your peers due to their perceived loyalty.

There have been many surveys and much research completed over the years to measure employee retention after a counter offer has been accepted. A widely misconstrued statement is that 80% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their current employer end up leaving within 6 months. Taking fictitious facts and statistics out of the picture, it is important to focus on what is important to you as an individual. Before you accept a counter offer, ask yourself these questions:

·        Is salary the main motivator for deciding to leave?

·        Has your current employer provided tangible evidence of how they intend to address your concerns?

Think about why your employer has made this offer and if it will eradicate the concerns you had that made you want to leave in the first place.

You may find that the cons far outweigh the pros and that your decision to resign is the best option for you after all. If you do not decide to stay with your current employer, it is a good idea to thank them for their offer and explain that whilst you have enjoyed your time with them, you feel that this is the best option for you and to advance your career.

If you are a candidate looking to advance your career, get in touch with us and see how we can help!