Dealing with counter offers

Dealing with counter offers


Melissa Muirdick careers, HR Insights

Picture this: You have been weighing up the benefits of moving on from your current job for months and have finally plucked up the courage to start interviewing elsewhere. You receive a well-deserved offer, walk into work the following week and hand in your letter of resignation...and then your boss presents you with an unexpected counter-offer.

2013 witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of candidates receiving counter-offers. This can come down to a variety of factors, including candidates not being prepared and issues not being properly addressed with senior colleagues.

When candidates are actively seeking alternative employment, it is crucial that they imagine themselves resigning from day 1. Handing in your resignation is a daunting task and you should be prepared to resist strong negotiation and persuasion tactics from your current employer. There are pros and cons for accepting the offer and no decision should ever be taken lightly. It all boils down to a candidate’s motivations for leaving. If one is seeking progression and development, and the counter-offer includes being offered the promotion you’ve been dreaming of, why wouldn’t you choose to accept that?

The main question that needs to be raised at this point is why did your resignation have to act as a catalyst?

Recruiting someone to fill your place is both a timely and costly task to your employer. To avoid this nuisance, many employers will offer the world; something that can be a tempting proposition. Emotional tactics may also come into play; as much as we would like to think that the world would stop turning if we quit our current job, don’t let this scare tactic sway you.

Accepting a counter-offer will rarely mend the factors that drove you to look for a new job in the first place. Another reason to bear in mind is the fact you have now made your boss aware that you are unhappy; the trust between you will have diminished and your loyalty may be questioned from now on.

The financial gain of accepting a counter-offer may seem initially tempting, but this may result in you being overpaid compared to market rate. If you consider moving again in the future, your salary may not correctly reflect your value.

Between 60-80% of those who have accepted a counter-offer find themselves back on the market, and still searching for that change 6 months later. Unfortunately, a lot of employers can fall into the trap of only realising what they’ve got after it’s gone. An important point to consider is, are you truly happy working for someone who only recognises your talent when you resign?

If you would like advice around dealing with resignations, or would simply like the opportunity to discuss the current market, do not hesitate to give us a call.