Great news! You’ve been offered a new job.
You’ve handed in your notice, planned your leaving drinks, and begun writing your hand over. Then, possibly out of the blue, you receive a Counteroffer from your current employer.
If you were expecting this, then perhaps you already have your “thanks, but no thanks” speech prepared. Or, if you are feeling particularly confident, you may have your own terms and conditions laid out!
However, if you weren’t expecting it, the counteroffer may have sent you off into a spiral of self-doubt and confusion.
Deciding whether to accept a counteroffer is a tricky one. Your decision may have a significant impact on your career, so it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly.
First, let’s consider why a company may make strides to retain an employee that has actively made leaps to leave.
Why do companies make counteroffers?
A counteroffer seems flattering, right? Figuring out if your current employer has made the counteroffer to keep a valued employee, or for other reasons is hard to discern.
If you work in a senior role, then it is worth noting that recruiting a senior-level professional is expensive. It can cost as much as 21% of a senior executive salary to find a replacement. To put this into context, if an employee earns a salary of £85k per annum, it could take in the region of £181k to hire the role again.
When you know this, it explains why nearly 50% of employees receive a counteroffer when they resign. Counteroffers in tech are even more common. IT is a candidate-driven market, where skill shortages are acute. This shortfall means it is very difficult to find and recruit new team members.
Accepting a counteroffer…yes, or no?
Should you stay or go? We can’t answer that for you, but we can give you a few things to think about as you make your decision.
If you do decide to accept the counteroffer, you wouldn’t be alone. Over 50% of employees do. When the rush of joy has waned slightly, reality sinks in. Staying at your current company would be easier, wouldn’t it? No new processes to learn. No new team to integrate into. You know the score, and we take comfort in the familiar. Now you have a bit of extra money, the things you didn’t enjoy don’t seem so bad. And it would be easier to stay.
What if you learned that 80% of those who accept a counteroffer leave within 6 months, and 90% leave within a year? Money isn’t always enough to overcome the reasons why you were unhappy in the first place.
When it comes to counter offer conundrums, it appears that doing the easy thing isn’t the right thing. Here are the reasons to stick to your guns, and decline the counteroffer.
It may surprise you to learn that only 12% of employees leave a job because of the salary. Bearing this in mind, it is more than probable that you are leaving for reasons other than the paycheck.
These reasons don’t disappear with a higher salary. Before you accept the counteroffer, you need to remember what motivated you to job search in the first place. Ask yourself, “does this extra money compensate for what was making me unhappy in the first place?”
Damaged employer relationships.
Accepting a counteroffer could lead to a problematic relationship with your current employer; you have just resigned and now you are staying because they offered more money. This places your loyalty, trustworthiness, and reliability in doubt. Would you resign again if you were to be offered something more lucrative elsewhere?
Many employees who do accept a counteroffer report feeling ‘pushed out’ by their current employer. In some more extreme cases, organisations have been known to seek a contingency plan just in case, looking for someone else to fill your role before you can find a better offer.
Will anything really change?
Perhaps you felt impelled to leave your role because you felt underappreciated or undervalued. Perhaps it was because you were overlooked when it came to a promotion, or you were lacking learning opportunities. Whatever the reason, it is likely that these issues will be as present today as they were yesterday.
Are you expendable?
Your desire to leave sends a very clear signal to your employer. It suggests that you are not as loyal as other colleagues might be, or that you aren’t as committed. Studies have shown that once you accept a counteroffer, your job security reduces. If your company needs to make cuts or redundancies, your resignation may put you at the top of the list.
Sometimes the grass IS greener. Turning down a counteroffer and moving to a new organisation may elevate your career to new heights. Your new employer may offer better learning opportunities. It may put professional development at its core and inspire you to achieve things you never thought you could. While no job is perfect at the very least, the new role will force you to step up and embrace new challenges.
To go, or not to go. That is the question.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. It is worth taking some time to consider the pros and cons of each outcome. Earning extra money will only numb your original desires to leave for so long. After that, it is likely that all those reasons will remain.
Read into the studies, and it appears that once you accept a counteroffer, the problems don’t go away. In fact, they begin to multiply.
Each situation will be different, so there is no definitive right or wrong. You must make a final decision based on your own unique set of circumstances.