How To Handle A Counter Offer

Congratulations! It is Friday and you have just landed a new job after 4 years in your last job.  The new job pays more money, you will be advancing your career and what’s more, it is nearer to home, which means less commuting time and costs.  You celebrate over the weekend and your friends and family are all so excited for you.

Monday morning comes and you approach your Line Manager to tender your resignation. You are taken by surprise by what happens next….

‘I was thinking about your role recently, I thought you could take on this project and I would be happy to pay you more of course. Don’t leave, there is lots for you to do here, there will be a big hole in the team without you, they will all miss you’.

Yes, it’s the counter offer.

There is barely time to think, you have been given until the end of the day to make your mind up. Your colleagues are all really nice, maybe you should stay after all…

When faced with a counter offer, here are some things you should consider:

Why did you want to change jobs in the first place?

Will you feel comfortable working in a job where you have had to hand your notice in to get what you want?

Do you think your Line Manager is happy at you effectively holding them to ransom?

Why do you think you are worth more money now that you have resigned, than last month?

Why is there a delayed recognition of your contribution to the company?

What about your ‘personal brand’? Will you be perceived in future by recruitment agencies and the company who offered you the job as a time waster in future?

How do you feel about being told that the team will miss you?

Will your current Line Manager trust you any more?

Our experience shows that those candidates who accepted counter offers move on after a few months anyway; and are likely kicking themselves for missing an opportunity.

Counter offers are becoming more common in professions with skill shortages where staff retention is measured as a key performance indicator of the business. It is less expensive to pay you a little more money than go to the expense of recruiting your replacement; or having your job vacant.

When faced with a counter offer, don’t use it as a bargaining tool with your new employer to gain even more money or responsibility, nor hesitate to think about it. Tell your current employer you are grateful for the counter offer and the experience at the company and that now is the time to move on following your professional handover.  Then do just that, move on to a whole new opportunity.