Managing a counteroffer


You’ve been offered a new position with another company and you’re preparing to hand your notice to your current employer.

Don’t be surprised if when you go to hand in your resignation to your current manager, you receive a counteroffer to try and persuade you to stay.

How do you prepare for the possibility that you do end up receiving a counteroffer?

Why might you receive a counteroffer?

Cost Implications – Job ads, training expenses, recruitment fees etc. will all come about as a result of your resignation.

Team morale – A resignation from a key member of the team can be damaging to the company’s culture

Reputation – Some managers see a resignation as a reflection on their management skills and shows their inability to retain staff.

Workload – Your resignation may end up in increased workload for the current team, to ensure it appears as though the company is running ‘business as usual’ or meet pressured deadlines.

Talent – You likely possess the skills and knowledge that would leave a talent gap in the current team.

What to expect.

Employers can adopt a variety of techniques to try and convince you that staying with your current company is the right move, including:

  • Offering an increased salary or additional benefits (e.g. more flexibility)
  • Emotional pressure to reconsider
  • Promotion/increase in responsibilities
  • Derogatory remarks about your new employer
  • Promises for upcoming salary reviews
  • Change in management/style

Handling a counteroffer is never easy, particularly if you’ve grown attached to the team or role (which a lot of people do). But it’s important to remember why you started looking for a new role in the first place.

Points to consider when you’re presented with a counteroffer.

Why did you start looking?

Consider what your motivations were when you started looking at jobs with other companies. Whether that was the feeling of being undervalued or underappreciated, or simply at a dead end in your career – they are all valid reasons about why your current employer may not be the best place for you to stay moving forward.

Delayed recognition.

If you’re worth the promotion and salary increase your current employer is suddenly offering you, why wasn’t this recognised or addressed with you before you handed in your notice?

The feeling of being undervalued and underappreciated won’t stop there if it’s taken the mention of you leaving to start noticing your worth as an employee and as an individual.

Trust issues.

Once your current employer knows that you have been engaging with other businesses and interviewing elsewhere, there may be some concern about your loyalty to the company.

You may no longer be seen as a dedicated team player and could end up being treated differently because of this.

Will things really change?

Whatever your reasons for looking in the first place were, it’s likely that you had already voiced your concerns with your employer, and they hadn’t been effectively addressed.

It’s likely the issues will continue if you did decide to stay in your current role and you could find yourself looking to resign again in the near future.

Pastures new.

Declining a counteroffer and moving to a new company could help you take your career to the next level. Your new employer might offer better career development and growth opportunities, as well as, having an impact or improving your work-life balance.

Again, will things really change?

Deciding whether to accept a counteroffer can be challenging, it’s important to take some time to run through what wasn’t working in your current role and what would need to change for you to consider accepting the counteroffer.

A Pros and Cons list, could help you make a final decision on whether you stay or move away from your current employer.

If you do decide to refuse the counteroffer, it is important to take charge of the situation. Thank your employer for the opportunity but reiterate your decision to resign and the reasons behind it. Deliver your written resignation to your manager in person, followed up with an email copy for safe measures.

Identify Solutions

We’re a team of recruitment specialists, so we understand how tricky it can be to navigate the more difficult conversations like receiving a counteroffer. We’re on-hand to support you every step of the way to help you make sure you’re making the right move for you.

If you’re thinking about moving into another role, or are ready to take the next step in your career, get in touch with our team today.

Identify Solutions

📞  +44 (0) 2920 021050 – Cardiff
📞  +44 (0) 2080 514777 – London

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