7 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Accept A Counter Offer

Author: Dan Middlebrook

Your boss may not be Don Corleone but the counter-offer is one offer you probably should refuse!


As a recruiter you may consider I have a vested interest in candidates not accepting counter-offers. After all I’m trying to ensure people move jobs, not stay put, so I can make a successful placement and enjoy the commission. That’s true, of course, but there are a number of other important reasons you would be foolish to stay with your current company:

1.  A counter offer can be flattering, but let’s consider the situation from your current boss’s point of view. You’ve just given him a headache; a resignation means he will have to recruit which is both time-consuming and expensive. It’s cheaper and easier to give you a pay-rise than recruit, hire and train a new employee. Not all that flattering really!

2.  You had to quit before you were given a pay-rise! Surely if you were valued properly this would have been acknowledged sooner, when you were giving your all, day-in day-out. Also, on the slim chance you do stay beyond a year, don’t expect another rise any time soon.

3.  Promises might be made to change the scope of your role or give you more responsibility, but will things really change? The frustration, the stifling feelings, and the dissatisfaction that led you to seek new job opportunities will remain; you made a decision to move, so stick with it.

4.  Some bosses may resent your threat to leave and although your agreement to the counter offer has eased their anxiety in the short term you may find you spend your remaining time at the company on the fringes – excised from the inner circle for your show of disloyalty, (and co-workers may resent the pay-rise and how you got it).

5.  Your boss fought to keep you from quitting, sure. But if there comes a time to lay off some people, it's a safe bet that you'll be somewhere toward the top of the list. Remember: Your boss wanted you to stay as much for his benefit, as yours. If he has the opportunity to get rid of you on his terms, now that you've revealed a willingness to leave, he may well take it.

6.  You're going to leave anyway. Studies show 70-80% of employees who accept counter offers end up leaving the company within nine months.

7.  You've already accepted an offer!  By virtue of hiring you, that employer has already demonstrated a belief that you are valuable and you haven't even had your first day yet! Your current employer, on the other hand, has grudgingly offered you more money to get you to stay to suit his or her purposes. Also, leading-on prospective employers – attending interviews, negotiating, accepting an offer, allowing them to think the job has been filled – is a bad career strategy in general.

If you think a pay-rise or changes to your role are the only factors disappointing you in your current role, I’d advise you to talk to your employer to seek a change before interviewing elsewhere.

If not, please contact us; we’d love to talk with you in full confidence about opportunities we have that may suit. We’re experts in the recruitment process and more than happy to guide you through the interview and offer process when we find the right role for you. 

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