The Counter Offer: Do I Stay or Do I Go?


conceptresourcing test


August 17, 2020

So you’ve invested a good amount of time into landing yourself a brand new shiny job, you’ve even told your current workplace that you’re leaving. You know you’ll miss everybody but it’s time to move on, your mind is made up…or is it? Just like that, your employer hits you with a counter offer and you suddenly find yourself questioning everything.

Does this situation sound familiar? You’re not alone, counter offers happen all the time – particularly in the plastic industry what with recent skill shortages. Employers are hit with the news that their best talent is being snatched away by another company and immediately panic, trying to reclaim them by adding an influx of cash to the situation.

You may be thinking something along the lines of “I wanted a pay rise, I’m now being offered one without the stress of moving somewhere new”, which is completely natural. However, it’s important not to let yourself get too carried away and to remain pragmatic. After all, a 2017 study showed that 80% of people who have accepted a counter offer will not be with their current employer in six months – a staggering figure. 

Here are some of the reasons why you might not want to jump too quickly at that counter offer:

Money isn’t everything

Counter offers may include developmental perks such as a promotion or a new title, but generally they also come with a pay increase to sweeten the deal. A little extra money added to your salary may seem like the perfect outcome, but you need to ask yourself: is money really my only reason for wanting to leave? In all likelihood, there were other factors that drove you to search for a new job – can money really eradicate these concerns?

Too little, too late

If you had expressed your concerns about progression or asked for a pay rise before, and your requests fell on deaf ears, it seems a little convenient that your employer is only willing to budge on the matter when threatened with a loss of resource. Understandably, this can sometimes cause resentment between employer and employee. Money and titles aside, if the way you feel about the company has changed for the worse – staying there will make you unhappy in the long run.

It’s a trap!

It may sound farfetched but believe us, this definitely happens! Sometimes companies will lure you back with a counter offer only to cover their own backs while they look for a more trustworthy replacement. Threatening to leave and only coming back when offered more money may be viewed negatively by colleagues and management, meaning that they may not trust you anymore and could even choose to replace you in their own time.

It’s a small world after all

Particularly in certain industries, plastic and steel for example. Unfortunately, people talk, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving a job in the first place, changing your mind based on money can come across badly to potential employers. It’s always best to walk away from a situation with your head held high than leave later down the line with your tail between your legs.

Here at Concept, we make sure we educate and guide all our candidates before the offer lands to ensure they’re aware of potential counter offers.  

If you’ve been hit with a counter offer, our advice to you would be to remain professional throughout the whole situation and never burn any bridges. Always think back to the reasons why you wanted to leave in the first place and be really honest with yourself on how likely it is that anything will change. Most importantly: never tell your employer that you’re leaving unless you are 100% certain, because that counter offer you’ve been dreaming of may not be worth the risk.

Hungry for more career advice? We’ve got you covered.

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