Think before accepting a counteroffer

You´ve gone through several interviews with an Executive Search Consultant, you then nailed all the interviews with your prospective employer. You finally get that offer that will catapult you into a new company and position.

You ask your boss to talk to him and now you´re ready to submit your resignation letter. Things get really awkward. And all of the sudden, he asks you to stay and comes back with an amazing counteroffer. What should you do?

In all the years as an Executive Search Consultant, I have always seen that counteroffers rarely work, and should not be accepted.

First of all, let´s define what I think a counteroffer is. It is simply a tactic from your current employer to get you to stay. Your boss thoughts at this time probably are: “This is the worse timing. If I let him quit, it will probably cause a stir in the department”. “Oh no! there goes my vacation”. “This will definitely hurt my review”. “Maybe I should ask him to stay at least another month so I can find his replacement”.

The next probable step is that the boss will try to keep you, by manipulating. Common things such as “We are very happy with you and I thought you wanted to grow in this company”. “Man, this is certainly strange, I just talked to the VP and we have great plans for you”. “Your salary increase had been already authorized”

Before you accept a counter offer, consider this:

The only reason they´re suggesting a raise, promotion or better conditions, is because you already have something else. Why they didn´t offer it before you had to quit? If you stay you will now be consider as not loyal, and you might lose your place in the company and not be viewed as a team player.

The counteroffer might be a tactic for your current employer to buy some time and find your replacement. You accepted a new offer for reasons. Those just don´t go away because you accept a counteroffer.

And most important, you only got this counteroffer because you notified them about your intentions to leave. So every time you want a raise, will you need to threat the company?

Reasons on why you shouldn´t accept a counter offer

You just made your employer know that you´re not happy. Loyalty will always be in question, and on the next promotion, guess who they will consider? Not you. Once your peers now about this, your relationship with them will never be the same. Do you really want to work for a company that needed the incentive of you leaving to give you what you are worth? If there´s a downsizing, who do you think will be on the top of the list? Do you think that accepting the counteroffer will prevent your boss to find a replacement for a lower salary? Yes, you´re being bought to stay in place. And yes, the things that bothered you will still be there, even if you have a better salary.

There are solid statistics that show that if you accept a counter offer, the chance of you leaving or they firing you within 6 months to 1 year is extremely high. (National Employment Association)

This morning before you resigned, you were worth X amount of dollars. And within a couple of hours, your value has increased?

Is more money going to change everything in your present job? Consider the new opportunity you will be giving up that looked so favorable when you accepted it.

The company will probably feel as though they have been “blackmailed” into giving you a raise when you announced your decision to leave.

Carefully review in your mind all the reasons you wanted to make a change in the first place.

Does the Counter Offer really offset those reasons?

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By Carlos Solorzano — Managing Partner Brakston Grey

Houston — Mexico, Monterrey, Guadalajara

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