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The counter offer – What the employee should consider.

As the labour market gathers pace and talent becomes a premium it is becoming more and more common for candidates to receive a counter offer when handing in their notice. This is always flattering and leaves you feeling valued and wanted and usually results in a pay rise but don’t be swayed too easily.

More than 60% of candidates who accept counter offers leave within the following year.

In this article we take a look at why that is and what you should think about before making your decision.

What’s your motivation?

You made a decision to look for alternative employment, why was that? It could have been financially based in which case a counter offer with an increased salary could be the right way to go but invariably there are other factors involved. Personality fit, dislike of your boss, boredom with the work, lack of recognition, insane deadlines, work life balance, lack of progression – could all be reasons. If you decide to stay, you must consider if the counter offer has truly addressed the real reason you wanted to leave in the first place?

How does your Employer perceive you now?

Often your employer will make a counter offer in a moment of panic and as the dust settles you could find your relationship with your employer has fundamentally changed. You’ve forced them to pay you more, you wanted to leave, and you are no longer part of the inner circle. All things your employer could be thinking and you this could result in you being the first consideration if cutbacks are made in the future.

Are they just buying time?

Your employer might just want to buy time to find a replacement for you, feeling that you may want to leave anyway so you may turn down a job only to find yourself pushed out soon after.

Why didn’t they value me before?

You’re the same person now as you were before being made the counter offer, with the same skills and experience as before so why has it taken this to force your employer to recognise your worth?

How will the other company feel?

Turning down an offer for a company that really recognises your worth will unfortunately have an effect on how that company perceives you in the future and they may think twice before offering you something again.

Accepting a counter offer can make sense and work out for both parties but it’s important that you have thought it through and feel comfortable that you and your employer have resolved any issues that caused you to start looking for a new role in the first place.

Don’t miss our next article where we look at the counter offer issue from an employer’s perspective…