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Counteroffers: Accept or Decline?

about 1 year ago

Counteroffers: Accept or Decline?

Counteroffers; Accept or Decline?

It’s a topic that can be polarising, so much so that many avoid talking about it at all. That’s why it will be no surprise that many of you will be nodding your head in agreement with me, while others will think that I have lost the plot. But I think one thing we can all agree on is that the topic is not talked about enough, and candidates sometimes do not know enough about counteroffers and the significance of either accepting or declining a counteroffer. I recognise it can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but by being candid and shining a light on it, I hope that I can persuade a few of you to my way of thinking.


First things first, how many of you have received a counteroffer? And how did it make you feel? Confused? Angry? Flattered? I’m guessing it was probably a mixture of all three emotions…if not more. More than likely, you’ve spent a long time debating with yourself whether you should stay or go, whether it’s the best time, how to break the news to your boss and colleagues, and everything else you need to consider when leaving a job. And then, something you never considered comes up – a counteroffer. And I would bet the amount of time you spent thinking about the counter before you accepted was minutes. And why is that? Well, it’s the easy option, isn’t it?


Unfortunately, no matter how good the work environment is or how much you invest in your employees, most employers will one day be on the receiving end of a resignation. And how did that make you feel? Let down? Frustrated? Bitter? I’m guessing it was a combination of all three, alongside a complete sense of shock. You were probably completely in the dark the last few weeks or months, blissfully unaware. You saw your employee coming into the office, performing well and maintaining the company’s high standards, and now, out of nowhere, you are left with a sense of urgency and alarm – who can do the work needed? As an employer, you spend much of your time planning, and mapping out how the business will develop and diversify to be successful, but how much time did you spend thinking about giving them a counteroffer? I’d guess minutes or maybe even seconds. Why? A counteroffer is always the easier option.

But is easier better? Here are some reasons why the easy option is the wrong option:

  1. It’s familiar.

  2. It’s cheap.

  3. It’s short-term.


New is always the scariest option, and a new job comes with a plethora of new, you’ll have to learn new systems, you’ll be meeting a new team, you’ll have a new work routine and then there’s a new skill set to learn. But learning and adapting are all part of developing. Taking on new responsibilities helps you to hone in on what makes you thrive and truly develop the skills you already have. Stepping outside of your comfort zone means you can better yourself and learn from others rather than becoming too comfortable and not developing. New means new experiences and new skills and this will help you become a stronger candidate and to work towards long-term success in your new role. One final note to consider is that 80% of candidates who accept a counteroffer end up leaving within 6 months. You started your search for a reason, and a new package with the same role may not be the answer.


Did you know that 9 out of 10 candidates who accept a counteroffer leave their current employer within the twelve-month mark? I know it’s frustrating when you receive a resignation, but knowing that the same employee will resign again in 3-6 months is even more frustrating. For your sake, let’s get rid of counteroffers together!

I understand the many questions that will be running through your mind when a resignation email hits your inbox. Will you to find someone at the same level? How quickly can you replace them? How long before the new employee gets to the same standard? But you might be looking at this the wrong way; there could be someone out there who not only has the skills but also the passion to do the work better. A new employee can offer a fresh perception, and a new opportunity to review and improve the current procedures.

If you want to take advantage of the opportunity you have to hire the best candidate for the role or to discuss your hiring needs, get in touch with IAR today. Working with our agency as your recruitment partner, you can create a contingency plan to bring a new set of skills and personality dynamics to your company.

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