Should you accept a counter offer?

3 minutes
Natasha Fardell

By Natasha Fardell

Counter offers are increasingly common in the current market and sure, a pay rise might be flattering enough to make you stay, but have you thought about the other reasons that made you look elsewhere in the first place?

Multiple reasons to consider

It’s likely you were looking to move on for more reasons than a pay rise, such as feeling undervalued and overworked, lack of progression opportunities, inflexible working hours, or poor benefits. Some counter offers will also offer improvements on these, but my professional experience shows me that you should think carefully before accepting a counter offer and here are 5 reasons why:

Reason 1: Questionable organization

You were only offered a higher salary or additional benefits when you threatened your resignation – do you really want to work for an organisation like this? You should consider why they didn’t feel you were worth this before and if this means you are at risk of not being considered for future promotions or a salary increase at your next review.

Reason 2: Unchanged working conditions

Your working conditions won’t necessarily change if you’ve just been offered a higher salary. In fact, your work will be more likely to be scrutinised and expectations of you will be higher to make sure you were worth the pay rise.

Reason 3: Questioned loyalty

You are at risk of your employer questioning your loyalty to the organisation going forward. They could become suspicious that you’re still looking if you take sick days or lots of leave, and they may not consider you for future promotions if they don’t think you’ll stay much longer and are still unhappy.

Reason 4: Persistent unhappiness

If you are unhappy in your role causing you to go through a whole recruitment process with another employer, it’s likely you’ll remain unhappy staying in your current role even with a higher salary. Multiple sources state that 80% of people leave their role within 6 months after accepting a counter offer. It’s an even higher percentage between 6-12 months.

Reason 5: Impaired future opportunities

You may have left a bad impression with the potential new employer, which could affect any chance of you working there in the future. Really consider the new employer and how they would meet your motivations for applying in the first place and what the future might look like there.

Take proactive steps

If you’re unhappy with your salary or working conditions, then ask for a pay rise or better benefits before you begin the process of looking for a new job. If these career goals can’t be met and there are no improvements, this is the green light to accept a new role and confidently turn down a counter offer should it come your way.

For a further discussion on the above, or advice on job searching or specific vacancies, please contact me at or call 0207198 6090. You can also visit our employability hub for the latest career advice.

  • 020 7198 6000
  • TPP Recruitment, Northern & Shell Building, 4th Floor, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF