It is difficult to leave a job, especially if you have held it for a long time. Having your reasons for leaving challenged and under pressure to stay with a counteroffer does not make it any easier.
No matter how appealing a counteroffer may appear, it is important to keep your head clear, take a step back, and consider your options carefully.
What is a counteroffer?
When an employee resigns due to another career opportunity and their current employer offers them incentives to stay, this would be a counteroffer. Types of counteroffers include a salary increase, additional company benefits, promotion, or a new job title.
Why do employers make a counteroffer
The process of recruiting a replacement for a vacated position can be time-consuming and costly. In some cases, they may not have the budget to hire and train a replacement. The number of Australian skill shortages has almost doubled over the past year, and job vacancies have increased by more than 40 percent.
In most cases, it is more cost-effective and efficient to change your decision to leave the organisation instead of spending time and resources on finding a replacement.
How to approach a counteroffer
What motivated you to want to leave initially? People leave their jobs for a wide variety of reasons such as new challenges, to advance in their careers, and a desire to feel valued. At some point, you decided that, for whatever reason, you wanted to move on.
A second opinion can make a great difference in deciding to accept or decline. Consider speaking to friends and/or family to determine if the counteroffer is worth remaining in your current workplace. If they are familiar with the problems or concerns you have had with your current job in the past, they may be able to recall previous complaints you have raised.
In the event that you are working with a recruiter, discuss the offer with them as well. Their experience within the recruitment industry will mean that they have seen all manner of counter offers before and will be able to point out other factors that you may have overlooked.
Risks to consider
The motivation you had to seek a change must have been genuine, as you did not only search for a new job, but also applied, interviewed, and accepted it. It is clear that you made the decision to leave some time ago. Why let a pay hike, a new job title, or additional benefits serve any purpose other than to persuade you to remain with the organisation?
Continuing to work with your current employer after accepting a counteroffer may make your colleagues and managers view you as less dependable. Moreover, a pay rise may result in resentment among colleagues.
Counteroffers don’t typically take into account your motivations for searching for another position, such as a lack of workplace fulfilment and the opportunity to grow, or a lack of meaning. These are the things that material benefits can’t make up for.
According to studies, only 12% of employees resign for financial reasons. Most likely, you are resigning not just due to pay, but because you are disengaged in your position and/or seeking career advancement.
In the end, it is impossible to predict what you will discover in a new workplace. Perhaps a counteroffer from your current employer may just be what you need to resolve any issues you may have previously had.
As soon as you have weighed all the pros and cons, you will probably be able to determine where your heart lies. Do not make decisions purely based on financial considerations. Trust your intuition.