You prepared your resume. You applied to dozens of jobs. You did phone interviews, face-to-face interviews, panel interviews, Skype interviews. You received an offer, negotiated, and accepted. Hoping for a smooth exit, you submitted your resignation. But wait! Your current employer has come back to you offering a significant raise to entice you to stay. You’ve just received a counteroffer, and you’re not sure what you should do.
You’re not alone. It’s a candidate driven market and record-low employment/talent scarcity have made counteroffers more common. The talent market is tight and the competition for talent is high. At the same time, more employees are on the move right now as they find more opportunities (and more compensation). It’s also extremely expensive for a company to replace high-performing talent.
Add these factors up and it’s no wonder that employers will go to greater lengths to keep their talent. That’s where counteroffers come into play. In fact, it’s estimated that 50-60% of candidates are receiving counteroffers when they resign from their current employer.
If you’ve received a counteroffer it might feel great at first, but there are things you should consider before you decide to stay. We went to the experts - our own recruiters - and asked them, “what advice would you give to someone considering a counteroffer?” 5 key themes emerged; here’s what they had to say:
Why Did You Look in the First Place? Remember your “why.” Why did you start looking for a new role originally? Was it for growth, a change of industry, better leadership, a better commute, or a better culture? How does the counteroffer change your original “why?” National statistics indicate that close to 90% of individuals that accept a counteroffer end up quitting anyway within 6 months. It’s important to look beyond more money or a different title when weighing your options.
Weren’t You Worth More Before You Resigned? If a company is willing to offer additional compensation when you’re ready to walk out the door, aren’t you curious as to why they didn’t value your time/contribution before? Why does it take your resignation to get more money? Is that the culture you’re looking for?
Will More Money Really Make You Happier? A counteroffer is nothing more than a band aid; a temporary short-term solution that will eventually allow the main issue to resurface with time. Once that happens, you’ll find yourself digging a deeper hole (just maybe with a more expensive shovel).
What About the Loyalty Factor? Once you show your cards and you make your employer aware that you’re unhappy, your employer will never look at you the same way because you’ve shown them you were ready to walk away. There’s a level of employer/employee trust or loyalty that is now broken. How will that impact your relationship with your manager?
How About Your Co-Workers? Once they know you were about to leave and once they know your employer bought more time with you, the team vibe could change and they could look at you differently. The relationships you once enjoyed with your co-workers might never be the same.
It’s no wonder that most people leave within six months of accepting a counteroffer. Money won’t change what was making you unhappy, and now, you have damaged relationships and trust on top of the reasons you wanted to leave in the first place. Counteroffers are such a last ditch attempt to retain talent that some managers won’t ever offer one. Put your happiness and your goals front and center when faced with a counteroffer and focus forward on your career.
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