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Should you accept a counter offer?

Posted on 7/11/2014 by Jo Hodge


It is always flattering to receive a counter offer, but there are a few points to consider when deciding whether to accept that counter ​offer. Surveys have shown that 63% of employers are likely to make a counter offer.

Counter offers can include better pay, more or improved benefits or better conditions. Here are 10 reasons why you should think carefully before accepting a counter offer:

  • Your employer will now know you are unhappy and question your loyalty to the organisation going forward. If you phone in sick or take off odd days, your employer will be suspicious that you are still not happy.
  • Your new employer may have made announcements internally, stopped advertising and interviewing for the role which can have a negative impact and affect any chance you would have of potentially working there in the future.
  • Your employer may not consider you for future promotions as they question your loyalty to the company.
  • Often employers will ask you to stay in a panic, as it came unexpectedly. Behind closed doors they will be planning your replacement, as you staying gives them ample time to do so.
  • If your employer has to make cutbacks, they are more likely to make cuts with employees that they know are not happy and have not been loyal in the past.
  • They may offer incentives to make you stay, like an increase in salary or better benefits. However you should consider why they did not feel you were worth this before and if this means you won’t get another salary increase at your next review.
  • Do you want to work for a company that only gives additional benefits/ salary when you threaten your resignation?
  • Would anything really change? You need to consider what your motivations were for looking for a new role initially. If it was money and benefits then this may improve, however if it is the job itself, then you need to think about whether this will change long term.
  • Statistics show that a high percentage of people end up leaving or made redundant within 6-12 months of a counter offer. You need to consider what you will do if you are in that situation.
  • If your employer decides to replace you after six months, it will be much harder for you to convince them to keep you, than it is for your employer to persuade you to stay now.

If you’re still unsure about whether to stay or make the plunge to a new role, then make a list of all your problems and annoyances in your current role and how these will improve if you stay. It is likely that only a couple will change.