How to Handle Counter Offers

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You’ve found a new job and you’ve filed your resignation. You’re ready to leave and start your new position. But wait – your current employer has just provided a counter offer encouraging you to stay.

Such counter offers can often come as a surprise, and can put many of us in a precarious situation. You could find yourself tempted to stay, but you may later regret it and lose out on the other job you just accepted. On the other hand, you could reject the counter offer, start your new job and then wish you’d stayed later.

So just what should you do? This post offers a few tips to help.

What is a counter offer?

A counter offer is an offer provided by a current employer in order to encourage you to stay. It may involve offering a pay rise, offering a promotion or offering other perks to make you think twice about leaving. 

An employer may offer a single counter offer or may provide multiple offers allowing you to choose your conditions for staying. This will usually be done via an in-person meeting. 

Counter offers are more common than many people realise. 67.5% of managers surveyed in one study said that they had offered counter offers in the past.

Why do companies do this?

If an employer offers a counter offer it typically means that you are a valuable employee who they don’t want to lose. You may possess certain knowledge or skills that are hard to replace or you may be integral to providing team morale. 

In some cases, an employer may simply not want to deal with the cost and hassle of finding someone else. If the company is already understaffed and struggling, an employer may not have time to go through the recruitment process or may be worried about having to delegate your workload to the rest of the team. 

Should you accept a counter offer? 

A counter offer could be tempting if it’s offering more pay or greater perks than the other job offer. There could also be aspects of your current job that you value – if the main problem with your current job was pay or lack of promotion, a counter offer may solve these problems. In such a situation, it may be worth accepting the counter offer.

If the counter offer does not solve the main issues you have with your current job, then you may want to consider rejecting the offer. Better pay or a promotion may not be able to make up for toxic colleagues or a long commute. If the other job solves these issues, it’s better to stick with the original plan and leave.

Overall, research shows that it’s typically better to reject a counter offer. In one study, 80% of participants who accepted a counter offer ended up leaving within 6 months.

What can we do to help you at Imperium?

It could be beneficial to seek out external HR advice if you are not sure whether to accept a counter offer. At Imperium, we can offer the advice you need, as well as helping you to explore other potential job opportunities.

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