What does a counter offer actually offer?
Generally, counter offers involve a promise of increased wages. You may also be offered more opportunities to develop your career, promising you an increase in responsibilities or the chance to undertake more training.
What should you do when you encounter a counter offer?
Employees mustn’t lose sight of their reasons for leaving. The
process of a counter offer can be very flattering; you spend more time
with senior management than ever before as they discuss how they can
persuade you to stay. Think though, can it override or compensate for
the reasons why you wanted to leave? And will the changes offered be
fundamental enough to really turn the situation around?
Unsurprisingly, an increase in salary is not the only factor behind
people seeking a new opportunity. Other common factors include issues
with their current workplace’s culture, worries about where the business
is going, or not going, workload and difficulties getting on with
colleagues. These factors pose a far more complex process of finding a
solution than a question of pay.
What does life look like after a counter offer?
It’s important to consider the implications of accepting a counter offer.
Think carefully about whether what you’ve been promised will actually
come into fruition. Getting something in writing is important so that
both parties have confirmation of expectations and the time scale. For
some issues this may be sufficient, but for others getting it in writing
is not as effective, especially when they may relate to culture or a
Employees also need to consider the people on the other end – their
prospective employer. Especially in a market as small as Jersey’s,
burning bridges can prevent opportunities in the future. We’ve had
instances where candidates have accepted a counter offer and within
weeks are back on the job market, with their previous job offer
The overriding statistics when it comes to counter offers is that the
vast majority of employees who decide to accept a counter offer, are
back searching for a new role within 6 – 12 months.
Positive and proactive ways to approach counter offers?
Our advice to candidates is to consider the prospect of a counter
offer from the moment you start searching for a new role. Think about
what would entice you to stay and have that conversation with your line
manager or HR representative before starting your job search. Give them
the opportunity to make changes that would keep you engaged and
If after securing the ideal job, you are presented with a counter
offer from your current employer, try not to let the pound signs or the
attention make you lose sight of the driving factors behind your search.
While the prospect of a counter offer may seem like a difficult and
confusing decision, you must ask yourself what is most important to you.
Is it money? Responsibilities? Respect? How does the counter offer
answer your long term career goals? You may find that the decision is
not so hard after all.
For an employer, consider the real reasons you are making a counter
offer. Would you really be giving this employee a raise if they weren’t
considering leaving? Are you realising their true potential in the face
of losing them, or is the offer simply a swift solution in answer to a
potential vacancy? This decision is as important for you as it is for
the employee, and you may even find it to be in the best interest of the
company to let them go, rather than keep on an employee that is not
happy working in their environment.
Whatever happens, you must remember that career goals are unique and
no one can decide for you! If you find yourself facing a counter offer –
make sure you weigh up all of your options and stay true to what’s most
important to you.