What to Do When Your Current Employer Counteroffers

counteroffer from current employer

After much hard work and determination, you finally get a new job offer. And the moment you tell your boss about your resignation, he/she realises your value to the team and presents you with a counteroffer. Superficially this may look enticing. From the two jobs to choose one, which one should you accept? The answer, however, isn’t an easy one. You need thoughtful consideration before making a decision.


What If You Accept the Counteroffer? 

Staying at the same company with more compensation may look promising to you as you wouldn’t have to learn the working methods of a new company or build work relationships with new colleagues. But research suggests that up to 50% of employees who accept counteroffers, leave the job within 12 months. Certainly, accepting a counteroffer comes with a list of cons too. 

  • First of all, it is rare when people leave their jobs due to salary. So, staying at a job just because they decided to increase your salary is not going to solve your problem and you are likely to quit within 6 months of accepting the counteroffer, like 80% of employees do. 
  • Secondly, it may affect your relationship with your colleagues, manager and HR. They will question your loyalty even if you decide to stay. You will come into the spotlight where they will believe you can leave anytime you get a better offer. If your company had to make redundancy, you could be on that list too. 
  • Moreover, staying at the same organisation means you are leaving behind the limitless possibilities that the new role could offer you. 

Nevertheless, the final decision drills down to why were you thinking to leave your existing job, and the equation you share with your manager and team. 


Things to Consider in An Enticing Counteroffer 

Only 5% to 25% of counter offers work well, and yours can be in the successful ones too. But there is a fine line between being authentic and being tactical. You need to ensure that what is offered to you is genuine. Figure out whether your current employer actually had career growth plans for you or are they just buying time to create a backup. Look for the details, did you see any subtle signs before the counteroffer; does the counter offer seem honest and well-thought. Good counter offers are rare to come by within a short span of time. 


At the same time, don’t make emotional decisions, because your current employer can try to emotionally influence you, targeting your loyalty and revealing their big plans for you. 


How to Avoid Getting a Counteroffer 

The best advice for this tricky situation will be to avoid it altogether. And yes, it is possible if you keep certain things in mind. 

  • Don’t disclose the new salary offered: Your current employer will try to fetch details from you to match your new offer. By restraining yourself to divulge all details including salary, you can successfully evade a counteroffer altogether. 
  • Be determined about the change: Keep in mind the motivation that led you to find a new job. If you are determined, you can politely decline your manager’s intentions of a counteroffer citing the exact reasons why you decided to leave. Even if you end up with a counteroffer, sticking to your decision will not create any confusion. 
  • Be honest to yourself and others: Throughout the process, stay honest with everyone involved including the hiring company, your boss and yourself. 

Even if you end up getting a counteroffer, the above points will still help you stay firm on your decision. 


Still Confused? Take Some Advice 

We understand the tricky situation might have left you indecisive. Sometimes, talking helps. You may already know the answer but when it comes from a trusted friend, colleague or mentor, it becomes easier to stick with the decision. Speaking to someone who has sailed in the same boat or who is more experienced than you can help you cogitate all the repercussions of accepting or rejecting the counter offer. 


Every candidate’s situation and approach are different. Think of all possible options and decide the best one based on its impact on your career. Our last piece of advice, if you think leaving is the best option, then stick to it. Don’t leave any room for inconclusiveness.