Handling a Counteroffer

How to handle a counteroffer

It is in a company’s interests to retain their best employees whenever possible so that there will be no disruption on their current projects. They will often try to incentivise their employees (higher salary, more benefits, new job title) to stay with the company but there are some key points to consider.

Is the counteroffer in your or your employers’ best interests?

Retaining staff, even if it means increasing their salary or bonus, is usually cheaper than hiring and training a new employee. If you have been unhappy enough at work to not only look for another opportunity but also to go through the interview process with other companies, is staying with your current employer going to make you happy long term?

Will the real reason you are leaving be adequately addressed?

While a pay rise at your current employment may be tempting, research shows that employees would much rather accept a lower fixed salary to receive more career growth opportunities or to have a better work/life balance. Will a higher salary make you feel more fulfilled in your role or are you looking for something that this doesn’t solve?

Did your employer value you before you considered resigning?

It is worth considering whether you would have received the pay rise or promotion or new project location in your counteroffer if you hadn’t handed in your resignation. If not, are you comfortable working for a company that doesn’t reward its employees until they have decided to leave? Also, will the pay increase come directly out of your bonus?

Has the trust in your relationship been damaged?

While counteroffers are a popular strategy among employers to retain staff, your new post-resignation life may not be easy and it is possible that your loyalty will always be in question. This may put you at a disadvantage for future promotions. Research also shows that almost 50% of professionals who accepted a counteroffer, returned to the job market within a year due to reasons including unfulfilled promises or no clear career path.