What do you do if your employer makes a counter-offer when you're planning to change jobs?

The Age Old Argument: Job Counter-Offers

​Is It Ever Right to Accept a Counter-Offer for your Current Job?

Over the summer I’ve started to notice counter-offers being made much more often than usual. I’m curious to see if the pattern continues toward the end of the year, but either way, I thought we should look at whether it’s ever a good idea to accept a counter-offer from your current employer.

In just one month, no fewer than four candidates I’ve been working with received counter-offers from their previous companies. They’ve been offered new perks, salary increases, or a company car… The list goes on!

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

We’ve always described the recruitment market as a struggle for talent, but this summer I’d almost call it a war, with companies fighting to keep their people on. Talent attraction is the key here. If a hiring manager can’t tell me why a highly-skilled, in-demand candidate would want to join them, the task becomes much harder.

And deciding whether or not to accept a counter-offer can have a long-term impact on your career.

Does the counter-offer actually address your original reasons for wanting to leave? What will your relationship with management be now that you’ve brought up the question of leaving?

What Were Your True Motivations for Leaving?

Was your salary too low? Did you feel you couldn’t progress? Do you need a new challenge?

A counter-offer will usually only solve one of these issues, if that – the salary. So consider whether that’s really enough to make you happy past the short term.

Why is Your Employer Only Realising Your Value Now?

Did you ever talk to your employer about your frustrations?

If so, ask yourself why they didn’t take action sooner. Does their counter-offer actually resolve your issues?

Were you getting regular review meetings? Was your salary left alone, or just not raised by as much as you needed?

Has there been long-term neglect rather than just miscommunication?

Are the Reasons Behind the Counter-Offer in Your Best Interest?

Usually it’s cheaper to keep a trained employee by offering a pay rise or a promotion than it is to hire and train a new member of staff. Your employer may be thinking purely financially. If so, it’s possible they’ll bear a grudge that they have to pay you extra at all.

The Takeaway

If you’re currently interviewing for a move, chances are good that at some point in the near future you’ll have a job offer on the table.

Whether you’ve ever had a counter-offer before or not, the odds are that this time youwillreceive a counter-offer of some kind (and if you don’t, the leaver next to you will). We recommend you prepare to deal with it.

Moving jobs can be stressful and the best thing you can do is to make sure you’re working with a recruiter you genuinely trust to have your best interests at heart and who you can have honest, open conversations with.

Talk through any counter with them and if any of the above applies, back yourself. Resist the temptation to take the easier short-term answer and become another addition to the long list of counter-offer statistics!