Now more than ever before, count-offers are ubiquitous. Even if you think this would never happen to you, preparing in advance is something that we as an organization always highly encourage, as a counter-offer is more than likely to be made by your current employer upon resigning! Over the years, there have been a countless times that we have seen candidates accept counter-offers and then come back to us within months because they are looking again. Why is accepting a counter-offer so unsuccessful you ask? Well, this is because promises that are made during the counter-offer process typically do not come to fruition. Here we break down the counter-offer process and reasons that we strongly suggest never to accept one.

There are various reasons that drive a resignation, whether it be: salary, work/life balance, family/personal reasons, culture or relations with your manager/colleagues. While all things personal, these are likely elements that cannot be changed overnight by your employer, although they may promised. Getting a counter-offer is so prevalent because it takes a lot of time and money for a company to find and replace valuable staff. Given the competitive job market, who wouldn’t want to be in a situation where two companies want you? While flattering, there are underlying issues impacting this overall situation. While dealing with a counter-offer is ultimately an individual situation, there are many reasons to evaluate the conditions and deeply consider not acceptance.

From a career advancement perspective, it’s essential to look at the potential growth and career progression that is possible from the company offering you the new job, which may have not been offered in your current role.

The most common counter-offer that we see is when a current employer offers to increase salary and benefits or promises an overall promotion. Again, while complimentary, there are a number of things to consider and questions to ask yourself. The most important questions of all are to think about the reasons why you were leaving in the first place, along with where the money coming from and why you didn’t receive this promotion and/or raise before? In this situation, like most during the counter-offer process, the employer truly only has their best interests at heart, not yours. It is much more challenging and costly to replace you than to keep you, especially if the resignation was a surprise or at a time when your company needs the resources. In many organizations, existing employees have specific skills and business understanding to carry out the job. Training and finding new team members is not only taxing, but also costs your company money in the process. Boosting salary is a means for your company to keep you within the organization, with less cost, until you have become more disposable. Now that your employer knows you have been looking, you are likely to be thought of as disloyal and they have a concrete reason to begin looking around for your replacement.

Accepting a counter-offer is likely to start the cycle of searching for a new role all over again, statistics show you will begin looking within 6-12 months after a counter-offer is accepted. Either your initial reasons for leaving will resurface and you will resign, or you will be terminated by your employer; perhaps due to cutbacks or finding a replacement for you, and/or your employer hedging against your likely departure.

Making an informed decision upon resigning is vital. It is important to understand the value of new opportunities. From a career advancement perspective, it’s essential to look at the potential growth and career progression that is possible from the company offering you the new job, which may have not been offered in your current role. All things considered, this is a personal decision, but it is ultimately a good idea to take a look at the statistics, so that you are cognizant of the process and potential implications.

At Capstone Hill Search we have extensive experience in navigating the entire hiring, offer and counter offer process, having a professional third party support and coach you through the process can be the best insurance for making an informed decision on your future.

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