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 area 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 them a headache; a resignation means they 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 their own benefit, as yours. If they have the opportunity to get rid of you on their terms, now that you've revealed a willingness to leave...they may well take it!
6. You're going to leave anyway. There have been studies quoted in past articles, saying that 70-80% of people who accept a counter offer will leave anyway within 12 months, whether this is true is unclear. Firstly, 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 first before interviewing elsewhere, your employer may meet your requirements. But whilst better pay is high up on the list, corporate culture, lack of flexibility, lack of appreciation, relationship with management, feeling unhappy at work and mental health are some of the other key reasons that people want to leave their role. So you may have a better wage packet in 6 months time... but will you actually feel happier and more appreciated? Will things really be different? Probably not.
7. You've already accepted an offer! By virtue of hiring you, your potential new 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 their 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.
Regardless of whether you accept the counter offer or not, my advice in any situation like this, is to take a step back, weigh up your options and have a really good think about what you really want from your career.
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Dan Middlebrook is B2B Marketing Recruitment Lead at Forward Role