Time to Leave? Solving The Counter-Offer Conundrum

24th August 2018

For jobseekers, getting a job offer can bring with it some unexpected benefits. For some in-demand workers, the threat of a competitor taking their prized workers can lead to their existing employers coming in with a counter offer to stave off the threat. While it may not be like a scene from Dragon’s Den, it can put the employee in something of an enviable position.


But for employers and employees, what are the benefits of holding onto a job once it’s already become clear that other opportunities can lie elsewhere?

Leveraging a Payrise

According to advice given in a recent HR Grapevine article, sourcing an offer from another employer can be a good way to leverage a payrise with your existing workplace, but this brings with it a host of moral and ethical challenges.


While it can be good to know your worth in the market, companies spend a lot of money on recruitment and go to a lot of effort to find the right person.


By deliberately playing-off your employer against another company, you could be burning valuable bridges that you could need should you be actively looking for a new job in the future. What could start as a good negotiation technique could quickly come to harm your reputation when the time comes to look for other opportunities.

Unintended Offer

A lot of the time, when an employer has made an improved offer it is completely unintended and the recruitment process has been made with the full intention of switching roles. In this situation it can be hard to decide what to do, especially if your employer is offering you considerably more money to stay.


While it can be tempting to follow the cash and stay somewhere familiar, the long term effects of this decision often don’t back this up. More than 60% of UK-based employees that accepted a counter-offer from an employer ended up leaving the job after 6 months anyway.


So why is this? Often, an increase in money only masks the real reasons why someone was looking for a new job in the first place. The cash can be a nice incentive, but if the opportunities for development aren’t there or they still won’t offer flexible working, these problems won’t go away with a bigger paycheque hitting the bank.


For employers, it can be difficult when your prized asset wants to leave, but before hitting them with a counter-offer, it might be worth taking the time to discuss their reasons for leaving and asking what their incentives were for looking for a new job in the first place. If it’s just for the money then great but if there are other opportunities that are being offered with the new employer that you can’t match, a higher wage is only going to delay the inevitable.

More than 60% of UK-based employees that accepted a counter-offer from an employer ended up leaving the job after 6 months anyway.