How To Manage A Counter Offer

How to Manage a Counteroffer

19 October 2020

The interview process is complete and you are the chosen one – the firm has decided you are the perfect candidate for the role. After accepting the position, you take the next step and hand in your resignation. However, your boss is clearly disappointed and not happy with your decision. They ask you to reconsider and do their best to counter the offer you have on the table. Flattering, yes - but before you take that counteroffer, what you should be asking yourself is:

  • Why has it taken your resignation to prompt action?
  • Where are the finances for the counteroffer coming from? Is it your next pay rise early, a bonus or a budget from something else such as training?
  • Your original reasons for leaving will not have changed. It is the same company with the same people and processes.
  • It might be worth reflecting if your employer will consider you for promotions post resignation. It is likely that if you accept a counteroffer, in the long run you could limit your career prospects. Your commitment may be brought into question.
  • If you were in their shoes, would you be worried that you will look to move again soon? If you were, how would you plan for it? Are you likely to look elsewhere in a few months’ time?
  • What are your thoughts on what your relationship will be like with your boss and your team if you accept the counteroffer?

Accepting a counteroffer has the potential to damage your relationship with your current employer. By agreeing to the offer, it sends the message that you are staying with the company solely for an increase in salary or a promotion. Your loyalty to the company is likely to come into question and there will be doubts about how long you intend to stay.

Statistics show that if you accept a counteroffer, you will be back in the market looking for a new opportunity within 6-12 months. You could have already started building your career with a company that was committed to you and invested in you from your first interview with them. Your company knows that it is more cost effective to retain you than to re-recruit which takes time and significant investment -the recruitment fee is 20% of the salary plus training investment. Moreover, it takes time to establish solid relationships and connections within a company.

How do you know you’re making the right choice?

1. Stay positive. Whatever reason prompted you to think about moving on from your present company, it is important to be optimistic. Embrace the change and focus on all the benefits it will bring, rather than the negatives which are pushing the change.

2. Be realistic. Every company, role or field has its downsides. Make sure you are aware of what you are stepping into. And don’t let your current negative situation make you rush into the next – the grass may seem greener on the other side, but this isn’t always the reality.

3. Weigh up the pros and cons of your current and desired careers. Be honest about what you want in your ideal role and if this move will fulfil you.

4. Look beyond your current industry. You are likely to have attributes that will make you successful in a different field and this will open up more opportunities.

5. Discuss your plans with someone you trust. Bounce your ideas off them and listen carefully to their advice. You can also hire a career coach who is able to remain objective while drawing from expert experience to advise you.

6. Network within the industry you want to move towards. You will gain knowledge of the culture of the industry, the expectations in a specific role, as well as the pros and cons. Moreover, you will make valuable connections which will benefit you when applying for future positions.

7. Be prepared for a tough road ahead. Transitioning careers is no easy feat and there will be significant challenges to overcome. It will be necessary to study the new industry and prove to others that your skills can help with the future success of the company.

8. Create a clear plan. Think about the best time for you to make a move and make a timeline that you can work with. This structure will keep your eye on the goal ahead and help you stay motivated throughout this process.