Back to Blogs

How to handle a counter-offer from your current employer

Blog Img

If you’re good at your job and have been offered a new role in a different company, it’s likely that you’ll get a counter-offer from your current employer before you finalise your decision to leave.

Counter offers are quite common, and both your potential new employer and recruiter (if you’re using one) will expect this, and you should too. In fact, statistics show that 50% of people that resign will be counter offered by their current employer.

And while it can be a big boost to the ego, it does have its drawbacks…

The negatives of accepting a counter offer

Deciding to stay after you’ve already indicated that you don’t want to work in a company anymore can be tricky to manage.

Essentially, your commitment to the company and your team will be in question going forward and you could potentially burn bridges from the employer that offered you the new role and your current employer.

On top of that, since you’ve expressed interest in leaving, any chances of progression or a promotion in your current role could be harmed.

So how do you handle a counter-offer from your current employer and ensure that you’re making the right choice for your future? Here are a few tips you’ll need before taking the plunge.

Why did you decide to leave in the first place?

You went to the trouble of finding and interviewing for a new job. You’re happy, or at least you think you are and then your employer offers you a salary rise, extra benefits or a promotion in an effort to keep you in the company.

While it’s easy to get blind-sighted by that, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on why you decided to start looking for a different job opportunity in the first place.

Was it just a money thing, or did you feel that your job no longer challenged you? Do you feel like you’ve done all you can to progress in the company?

If you push your initial reasons to the side and accept the counter-offer, it won’t take long for you to end up back at square one down the line.

Think about the bigger picture and a challenge yourself before you accept any counter-offer.

Will the counter-offer make a big difference in the long-run?

When the dust settles and you’re at the same desk 6 months after accepting your counter-offer, can you say with absolute certainty that you’ll be happy to stay put?

Research shows that over 85% of employees that accept a counter offer are no longer there in 6 months, and 90% are gone in 12 months. That’s an unbelievable statistic.

Something obviously triggered you to take a leap and start shopping around. If it happened before and you accept that counter-offer, it won’t take long before you get cold feet again. If that’s the case, will staying put just be an exercise in futility all along?

Does staying put hold any value for your career?

Sure, a salary rise is great, but how does that translate as real progression in the eyes of future recruiters and employers?

Your career trajectory should always be moving forward. If the role offers tangible progression from your current role, think about how that can benefit you in the long-term.

Employers like to see progression throughout your CV. Think about it: recruiters and employers can get literally hundreds of CVs for any single role and spend an average of 5-7 seconds looking at each one. Having a diverse range of roles and a clear track record of progression will make you stand out.

Receiving a counter offer is tempting, but the research shows in most cases you’re better off sticking with your decision to leave. Ask yourself each of the above questions before making your mind up, and most importantly try and figure out if you really will be happy to stay put for the long term if you say yes.

Need some more career advice?

If you’re looking to expert tips and advice for your future, visit our Career Insights Centre for more candidate tips and insights.