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5 reasons why to think twice about counter offers

Posted on 16th October 2019 by Jo Lothian

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It’s common for great candidates to receive a counteroffer from their employer when resigning from a role, or when in the process of job hunting.

Counteroffers can be very flattering; suddenly you feel more appreciated by your employer, and you might start to think about staying put – after all, you know the lay of the land, you have good relationships with people at work, and it may feel like the reasons you had for leaving are less significant now.

Before saying yes to a counteroffer, it’s really important to fully investigate if the offer will, in fact, appease your desire to move onto something new.

1. Money

Perhaps you started searching for another job for economic reasons and the counteroffer comes with an attractive salary. It’s worth noting that if you were truly happy with your current company, then you would have investigated the possibility of receiving a pay rise from them before looking around; perhaps there’s more to it than just money for you.

If you did investigate a pay rise and your employer said no, but they want to offer it to you now that you’re leaving, then the company isn’t truly valuing your contribution. If the salary is equally as attractive at your new company, chances are that you'll be working with an organisation that already has a culture of valuing staff and paying them what they're worth. That's good news for you!

2. Job satisfaction

There were likely other reasons besides money that prompted you to start looking for another job. Perhaps you were after greater job satisfaction, better career development, a shorter commute, more flexible working options, a greater challenge, or a better fit for your skills. Accepting the counter offer unfortunately won’t address any of these issues, and you’ll soon start getting itchy feet by staying in the same role and company.

3. What the statistics say

Statistics compiled by some of Australia’s big recruitment firms show that, in 2016, around 46 per cent of Australian and New Zealand staff who received a counteroffer, didn’t stick around anyway. Of those who accepted the counteroffer, 4 per cent remained for less than 3 months, 21 per cent remained for another 3 to 12 months, and 29 per cent continued on for more than a year.

What these statistics show is that you’ll likely leave within 12 months, because unfortunately the reason why you were looking to leave hasn’t been addressed.

4. Trust can’t be restored

A more damaging aspect of counter offers is that once you hand in your resignation, trust begins to break down.

In a survey carried out by Harvard Business Review, almost 80 per cent of senior executives said that trust is lost when a staff member accepts a counter offer. 

This happens on both sides of the relationship; the company becomes aware that the employee was seriously thinking of jumping ship, while the employee, in turn, is made aware that the company had to be forced into a corner to offer a better employment deal. Either way, trust is damaged.

5. Don’t burn your bridges

If you accepted the offer of a new job, you must have been certain that it was a good move for you. If you then tell your new employer that you’ve changed your mind, you’re not presenting yourself in the best light. It can be a small world in some job markets and people talk. Even though employment trends are positive at the moment, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it is still wise not to reject a good job offer, as it could limit your future prospects.

What to do next…

If you’ve received a very tempting counteroffer, talk things through with your recruiter and with the people around you, friends and family, that understand the reasons why you were considering moving on from your current role or company in the first place…. You might gain a clearer picture of what you really want from your next role and you’ll probably feel more confident about your worth in today’s job market. 

At MAYDAY, our recruiters only work with top quality companies who value and reward their staff. Whether you're a temp or permanent employee, we can help you gracefully turn down a counteroffer and move onto an exciting, new career opportunity - if that's the right move for you. 

You can contact us on 02 8377 5600 or info@maydayrecruitment.com for nation-wide recruitment support.