Counteroffers: Are They Worth It?

Counteroffers: are they worth it?


Changing jobs is never an easy process, with the hardest part often being the final hurdle: informing your current employer that you’re on your way out. As if this wasn’t tricky enough already, most candidates then find another difficulty thrusted upon them by their current employer in the form of a counteroffer.


Not only based on my experience as a recruiter but also as someone who has gone through the process of changing jobs and had to consider a counteroffer, I am a firm believer that counteroffers should never be taken. First, consider this. If your current employer really valued you as much as your counteroffer reflects, why is it until they are just about to lose you that this comes to light?


On the other side of the coin, consider the efforts that you have made to find yourself in this position in the first place. Why have you been entertaining the idea of other roles, speaking to recruiters, interviewing and clearing that final hurdle of informing your employer that you are looking to leave? These are not easy processes to go through, not to mention time consuming. It’s crucial to consider that if you were really happy in your current role, these efforts wouldn’t be required in the first place.


I’ve worked with many candidates who’ve been in this position and in my experience, most who accept a counteroffer find that the novelties of a new salary and other minor bells and whistles have worn off within six to twelve months.  Nine times out of ten, candidates find themselves right back in the position which initially made them look elsewhere.


Of course, there are a few people who accept counteroffers who were not originally looking to change and were most likely headhunted by recruiters. In this situation, accepting the counteroffer is often the easier thing to do. The thought of starting out in a new place of work, with new colleagues and systems you are not familiar with, can be rather daunting.


As I touched on before I understand this position well, I was in it myself before starting here at Fluid. My previous employer quickly met my resignation with a counteroffer which increased my salary and offered some very shiny perks – so shiny that I nearly stayed on. Considering the same ideas that I’ve proposed here, I’ve also realised that I wouldn’t have been comfortable knowing that all my employer had to do was throw money at me to have me crawling back with my tail between my legs. More importantly, don’t overlook the fact that they can’t necessarily forget that you were very close to moving on. When times get tough, and they sure have over two recent national lockdowns, hard decisions must be made. I wonder who they would find it easiest to say goodbye to if it came to it?


This is the unfortunate harsh reality of the world we live in. Therefore, find yourself a company that shows you your value from day one, and work to prove them right. It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it and will create an environment that you’re happy to grow your career in. Nevertheless, if you find that you’re unhappy in your current role and have cleared all the hurdles involved with changing roles only to be met with a counteroffer at the end, please remember why the idea of moving on was appealing to you in the first place.


Let’s face it, you spend a lot of your life at work. You shouldn’t have to settle when your happiness is on the line.


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