The Counter Offer Conundrum

Written by Orla Treacy

The day has arrived for you to resign from your current role. You schedule a meeting with your boss to tell them that you have decided to jump ship and join another company. You quickly realise that your boss doesn’t want to lose you and asks what you need to stay or tells you that they’re going to make a generous counter offer. What do you do?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when the counter offer conversation arrives:

Why did you accept and sign an offer with another organisation?

Aside from seeing what’s out there, there must have been a push factor for you not only to go through the interview process but to successfully come out the other side and sign an offer. Was it the sense of new adventure? Was it the opportunity to change your career path? Was it for financial reasons? These are all very important factors to consider when deciding on a counter offer. Why look back now?

Why weren’t these extra items now on offer being offered to you before?

Many candidates’ current organisations will request details of the offer they have just accepted to match it or beat it. This is a knee-jerk reaction and a quick solution to avoid having a hole in their team. The main consideration here is to ask yourself why you didn’t have this extra cash before. If it was on the table, and the organisation is now saying that you are worth the raise, why did they wait until now to offer?

Will you be considered trustworthy if you stay?

Accepting a counter offer means that your boss and colleagues know that you completed a process, signed another offer and were ready to leave and therefore could assume that you are disloyal to the company. Thus, you could potentially be first out the door if there is an internal reorganisation or passed over for future promotions. Are the new conditions they are now offering worth that risk?

Time to stay or say goodbye?

Counter offers deserve fair consideration and can be used to address issues you were having in your role such as life/work balance or career progression. Unfortunately, in our experience, most people who accept them find themselves looking for a new job shortly afterwards, when the situation that caused them to explore the market, remains unresolved.

We encourage our candidates to speak with their Accelerate consultant as the counter offer conundrum is something we have a lot of experience with and we know it is not an easy one to resolve.