Your Guide to Counteroffers


After putting in the hard work throughout the interview stage there is no better feeling than when you finally get offered the role. You’ll probably want to celebrate your success, but remember you still need to let your current employer know your plans to leave your current role.

Are you prepared for how your employer will react?

With employee retention high on the agenda for most businesses, there is a high chance your current employer will present you with a counteroffer. In fact, 50% of resignations are met with a counteroffer. This could include an increase in salary, a promotion, additional benefits or more responsibility. At the time it can seem tempting to take the easy route and accept a new proposition from your employer, but it is important to take some time to make a rational decision.

This is what you should be considering:

1. Why did you decide to look for a new job in the first place?

Start by writing down the pros and cons of staying in your current job. What do you like about your current role and what was it that pushed you to start applying for other opportunities?

If the cons are issues that will be difficult to fix, it is definitely time to move on. However, if they are issues that can be resolved and once resolved would change the outlook of your job for the better, ask your employer how you can work together to find a solution. Sometimes being heard is enough and the chances are that your employer didn’t know how you were feeling. Allow your employer time to absorb the discussion and see what their suggestions are.

2. Think about your options

It is a sensible idea to ask your current employer for some time to think about your decision. Rushing a decision based on factors that might make you happy in the short term but not necessarily in the long term could leave you in a difficult situation later down the line. If your employer values your role in their business they will respect that you need time to make a decision that is the right choice for both parties.

3. Would you go through the interview process again?

A staggering 60% of candidates who accept a counteroffer will make the decision to leave again within six months. Therefore, if you are planning to accept a counteroffer you need to be certain that you will be happy with your decision in the long term and will help you reach your career goals.

Ask yourself, are you prepared to go through the process of having to apply for jobs and interview again? Equally, you need to think about why you put in the hard work to ensure you were offered the job you wanted so much in the first place. Can you commit more time to another job search?

4. Will your relationship with your employer be better or worse?

When you inform your employer that you have been interviewing for other companies this has the potential to change the dynamic of your relationship. A good employer will not want you to be unhappy in your job, and if you are transparent about why you started looking for a new job they are more likely to be understanding in your relationship going forward.

Yes, they may have offered you more money to stay but is it because it’s any easier way for them to keep up employee retention rates, avoid hiring costs and save them time looking for a replacement? Consider what the working dynamic would be like if you stayed and how your role might change. A higher salary and extra benefits might not necessarily make you feel happier and more fulfilled in the role.

Additionally, if you are planning to go to a competitor they might not want you to take business with you. Either way, it is for you to make a decision on what matters to you the most.

5. What do you really want from your career?

After taking time to consider your options, you need to think about what you really want from your career. You need to know if your current employer can offer you the career opportunities you want and need. Think about what you want to be doing on a day to day basis but also where you want to be in five years’ time.

Which employer can offer you the best of the following:
  • Career progression

  • Training and development

  • Flexibility or work/life balance

  • More responsibility

  • Better projects

Most businesses have annual performance reviews, but no matter which offer you decide to accept, make sure that you are organising regular chats (at least once every three months) with your line manager (even if you aren’t considering new options). Make sure to discuss both positive and negative aspects of your role, what is happening in the team and anything that could be bothering you in the early stages, rather than letting your concerns fester. Developing and nurturing your relationship with your company and manager will be well worth the effort.

Now you have all the tools to succeed in managing your counteroffer, we wish you the very best of luck.

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