Recruitment specialist in HR & Human Capital Management

The Counter-Offer. Deal or No Deal?

The January Blues


This is the time of year when you feel it. You’re not happy. Things at work are niggling at you. Or you’re happy, but underpaid so you feel undervalued. Your bonus has come and gone and the new year is brimming with opportunity.


Push and Pull


Think about which Push Factors are pushing you away from your current role, and look for good Pull Factors that draw you toward a new employer.


Push FactorsPull Factors
  • Feeling underpaid
  • New salary level
  • Feeling undervalued
  • Clean slate
  • Feeling overworked
  • Clear role laid out
  • Not being praised enough
  • An ecouraging new team
  • Frustrations with the boss
  • New people, new relationships
  • Not enough career opportunities
  • New staff development structure
  • Feeling bored
  • A new challenge

The shiny new job you’ve seen addresses your Push Factors, so you go through a recruitment process. You resign from your current job but then you get a counter-offer. Now what?


Don’t be blinded by money


Why? Well, the cheapest route for your current employer is to match your new offer so that you’ll stay put. So, when your employer rolls out the counter-offer red carpet, be sceptical. Remember that they are only trying to save themselves money, time and hassle.


Is the grass greener?


Promises made around plastering over your Push Factors rarely deliver, so things are unlikely to change even if you do take the money. We regularly see people six months after accepting a counter-offer who are looking for a new role.

When you move to a new employer, you reset the benchmark for earnings and development potential. Typically, those people who ignored a counter-offer and made the move to a new role are earning more money four years down the line.


Our approach to Counter-Offers


In our experience, you are going to receive a counter-offer, so plan it into your job search. It’s probably going to feel awkward, as you’ll have an emotional attachment to the company. Try to take emotion out of the equation and stay strong.

We prepare our candidates carefully for counter-offers. We openly explore what happens and how candidates are likely to feel, helping them remember their Push Factors. As a result of that, we’ve only had one person in the last two years succumb to a counter-offer.

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