The temptation of a counter offer
Have you considered the possibility of a counter-offer?
Today’s market is very candidate/experience driven because the “baby-boomer” generation of >72 million workers is either in, or approaching its retirement years. The “X” generation follows and offers only slightly more than 40 million folks to fill those jobs. Whether your realize it or not, you are important to your current employer.
Now you’re excited aren’t you? “You mean, I might be able to stay in my current job and get paid what I was offered at a new position? Maybe even get a better title?” Yes, but before dancing off into the sunset, let’s talk about the caveats, shall we?
Statistical Realities: 60% of employees that accept a counter-offer are terminated within 6 months of accepting and 90% within 12 months. Why? From the company’s perspective a counter-offer is nothing more than a Band-Aid used to repair the damage you caused.
Questionable Loyalty: Whether you were going to a competitor or not, you announced your impending departure and now have questionable loyalty to the company. If they question your loyalty, how long do you think it will take them to begin the search for your replacement?
What has Changed?: For most of us the decision to even consider, more or less accept a new position comes with great consternation. Equally, we can generally point to a number of things that cause us to be dissatisfied in our current jobs. Our first responsibility is to discuss our unhappiness with our boss before looking at a new opportunity. If we have done that, what can they possibly change about our concerns when making a counter-offer? If you consider the total time that elapses between announcing your acceptance of a new job and receipt of the counter-offer, nothing could possibly have changed.
The Other Guys: You accepted the position offered by another company, have now decided that the offer wasn’t all that good to begin with and accepted a counter-offer from your current employer. If “the other guys” are competitors they simply do whatever is possible to make your name equate to mud within their organization. If they are a vendor, though the result won’t be obvious you have negatively affected the relationship. If your company is a supplier to them, you may have just cost your new/old employer the business. Regardless of whether any of these scenarios apply: you have burned a bridge that you might very well need later in life.
If you’re a candidate working with us right now, we have discussed counter-offers and the incredible risks they can bring. If you’re reading this as a visitor to our site, talk to us about why you would be better off letting us represent you to potential employers and what we know about the entire process.