Should I stay or should I go now?? The reality of counter offers

24 July 2018 Nicky Sinclair

Should I Stay Or Go

With so many jobs available along with a skills shortage, counter offers are happening now more than ever, across all sectors.

When an employer receives a resignation and more importantly hears the reasons why their employee has decided to resign, (employers don’t like to be fired!) they may choose to respect and accept this decision, or they might decide to counter offer. 

It is important to be prepared for dealing with the pressure, anxiety and temptation that is often experienced with a counter offer. Being prepared can eliminate unnecessary stress.

If you’ve experienced a counter offer, you might have heard…. “we’ll never be able to replace you” or “your clients and candidates love you”, “you add such value to the company”, they might offer you a new and impressive job title, more money, more responsibility, the promise to develop you and perhaps even the prospect of building and managing your very own team. 

Don’t’ be caught off-guard by unexpected flattery and praise and certainly don’t feel guilty for doing what is best for you and your career! Ask yourself, if you stay, will you experience the job satisfaction and career development you are looking for?

Start by comparing what you have experienced to date with your existing company vs what’s on offer and take an objective view on which opportunity will truly meet your needs and offer you the fresh, new start you are looking for.

More often than not, a counter offer is not a good thing and here are some reasons why…..

It usually involves the employer being totally consumed by how this loss will impact their life and the running of the business.

Employers are adopting smart counter offer tactics to keep good staff and will do or say almost anything to limit the disruption or loss they’d face if their employee left.

Think about the motivation behind the counter offer.  Could it be the cost of re-hiring, having to train a new member of staff, poorer staff retention rate, demoralising existing teams, creating instability within the company, the domino effect this may have on other staff members…the list goes on.

The most common reason for leaving a company involves a broken-down relationship between employee and manager.  Frustrations associated with the management style, environment or culture and lack of professional progression and opportunity.  Usually the employee would have felt demoralised, unhappy, and desperate for a change.  We are all human and want to be appreciated and valued. In some instances people are just looking for that 1-1 attention, pat on the back, reassurance of a job well done……

They’ll get exactly that in a counter offer and then won’t have the determination to leave.  They would have finally heard what they have been waiting to hear and may also start to feel a sense of inclusion which had not previously been felt.

If you experience a counter offer, ask yourself, “Is this too little too late, will the culture really change, will I get that promotion, added responsibility, is this increase really worth it?” Revisit the reasons why you wanted to leave to begin with.

People and management and particularly entire working environments and cultures rarely change.  What you don’t like now, is likely to still be there in months to come as well as your disappointment and frustration if nothing has changed.

Don’t fall for the promise of change. 

UK recruiter states that 80% of consultants will be counter offered and 90% of recruiters that accept a counter offer are no longer there 6 months later.

50% of candidates that accept counter offers are actively looking again within 60 days.

Believe in yourself, your values and your dreams and don’t have regrets!

Be confident about the reasons why you are interviewing elsewhere. Perhaps if you are unhappy start by talking openly with your manager and give them the opportunity to change things for the better, let them prove to you that they do value you, that they are willing to address your concerns and invest in you and your career.  If you do that and are still unhappy with things being unresolved, then you’ll be committed to the process and will not be left second guessing yourself.

Finally, no potential employer wants to feel as though they have been used just in order for you to gain a bit more from your current employer, be serious, be honest and go for it!!

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss this in more detail, feel free to get in touch with me directly on or call me for a confidential chat on 07341 773 513.