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​Counter Offer Considerations for Candidates and Organisations

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Some firms are counter offering massive sums to employees who threaten to walk out in order to avoid an even bigger talent loss – however this is a highly risky route.

The job market has been extremely competitive for months and businesses are desperate to keep their talented staff, especially those with high skill levels or potential, because they do not know if they can find suitable substitutes quickly. Experts and pay specialists state that companies are offering counter offers to all sorts of employees, from frontline personnel to C-Suite executives.

What research shows:

In considering a counter offer, it is essential to think about whether the offer will resolve your initial motivation for leaving the company, and the potential outcomes should you decide to stay. This is a significant decision that may have a lasting impact on your professional future, especially at executive level. Research shows that 80% of those who accept counter offers end up leaving current employer within 6 months, and 9 out of 10 leave within a year.

Why have you received the counter offer?

Organisations have a vested interest in retaining their top personnel, and when an esteemed member of the team tenders their resignation, managers often attempt to put forward a financial incentive for them to stay. Although the prospect of a salary increase and further development can be tempting, you should think about the following prior to accepting the counter offer:

  • Cost and Time impact on an organisation to replace you is higher than offering you a raise/promotion.

Almost always, paying a pay rise or promoting an existing employee is more cost-effective than hiring and training a new employee, so your employer might want you to stay for this reason. It is for this reason that your employer is keen to retain you, but this doesn't change the fact that you have been actively searching and interviewing for a new job.

  • Loss of trust which could cause awkwardness influenced by your decision to stay.

You can almost be guaranteed that your employer’s opinion of you has altered since you discussed your resignation. They will now be aware that you have actively interviewed between your day job. Moving forward, they may question any doctor’s or personal appointments you go for as the trust has been broken. The whole situation can likely become quite awkward and difficult if you stay.

  • Failed promises which have suddenly come into fruition.

Let’s say you receive a pay rise or promotion that you’ve argued for since prior to looking externally. This will certainly taint what should be a celebration of your strong work ethic and skills brought to the organisation. Would you have received either of these two things had you not resigned? Is that the sort of company that you want to consider staying at? It could be a culture issue you had which you’ve raised in the past and have finally seen a serious consideration from change promised – you’ll begin to wonder why this hadn’t been actioned already. Don’t allow an organisation to make you feel you matter at the point of wanting to leave.


Accepting a counter offer can be a bad decision for many reasons. It can create resentment from your current employer and also from your future employer, as they may have made a significant investment in recruiting you and may feel that their time and resources have been wasted. It can also be an indication to potential employers that you are not loyal and may be likely to leave again in the future. Additionally, accepting a counter offer does not guarantee that your current employer will actually follow through on their commitments, and you may still find yourself in the same predicament shortly after.

Consideration for organisations:

An interesting fact as previously stated in this article showcases that counter offers do not usually keep employees from leaving for long; a recent study found that candidates who accepted counter offers to stay at their current firms ended up leaving within the following 6-24 months. Additionally, we see new hires often paid much higher salaries than existing employees, resulting in pay equity issues in the workplace. This could be problematic, as it could lead other employees to look for jobs elsewhere to get a raise.

Here are some tips around what you can actively do to avoid employees wanting to leave:

  1. Create a positive workplace environment: Ensure that your organisation is a place where employees feel appreciated and respected. Encourage open communication and collaboration, and make sure that employees feel supported and heard.

  2. Offer competitive salaries and benefits: Make sure that you are offering competitive salaries and benefits, and that your employees are being compensated fairly for the work that they do.

  3. Provide opportunities for professional development: Encourage employees to grow and develop their skills by providing learning opportunities and career progression.

  4. Promote work/life balance: Make sure that your employees have a healthy work/life balance, and that they are not overworked or feeling overwhelmed.

  5. Give feedback: Take the time to provide your employees with regular feedback on their performance and give them the encouragement they need to stay motivated and engaged.

  6. Listen to your employees: Create a culture of open communication and encourage employees to speak up and share their ideas and concerns. Ask for feedback and be willing to make changes based on their suggestions.

Whether you’re a candidate considering a counter offer or an organisation hoping to avoid finding your employees in this situation, we hope you found this article useful. If you’re looking for a new role or hiring talent, get in touch with us today: