Counteroffers…what are the pitfalls?

over 2 years ago by Sally Bartley

Employer Or Recruiter Holding Reading A Resume Wit 2021 08 30 05 37 31 Utc

Due to the hot market that we are currently experiencing, we are seeing more counteroffers in the recruiting process. We are used to seeing one in 20 counter offers but we are now seeing one in five. However, there can be many pitfalls on both sides to a counteroffer, and both business owners and candidates should be aware of this.


What is a counteroffer?

Consider this. An employee comes to you to explain they have found another job and are handing in their resignation. You are completely surprised and offer to make it worth their while if they stay. Or perhaps, they have come to you to let you know they have received a job offer and will only stay if they receive a pay increase and title change. Essentially, a counteroffer is an offer made in response to another offer.

Counteroffers take on many forms and as exciting as they may sound at the time for the employee (and a relief for the employer to keep a valued employee), it’s important to step back and reflect upon why this decision, from both sides has come about.


So…what are the pitfalls of counteroffers?

For an employer, you need to remember that no time is a good time to lose treasured employees but sometimes you have to rip the band-aid off. Be careful in making a counteroffer and take caution to not set yourself up for potential disappointment down the track. 

Contemplate the below:
  • Did you see the resignation coming? If not, why not?

  • Are they leaving for the right reasons?

  • Will you resent paying extra salary?

  • Do you need to pay more to others as well?

  • Are you delaying the inevitable; is it only a matter of time?

For an employee, unfortunately, there are usually more reasons to turn down the counteroffer, no matter how attractive it seems.

  • Nothing is likely to change. If it is more than money, think hard about moving to a new job.

  • Relationships will need extra work. Unfortunately, if you do decide to stay, your work relationships may be affected, and you may have to work hard to win back your employer’s trust. Your boss may also think that you’re not loyal to the organisation and are only staying for the money.

  • You may be more expendable than other employees. After accepting a counteroffer, your job security can drastically decrease – moving you to the top of the list if redundancies need to be made. After all, you were considering leaving in the first place. Or even worse, your current employer may have given you a counteroffer until they find a replacement for you.

For both employers and employees, if counteroffers are on the table, we recommend getting in touch with your recruitment agency (that’s us) to ensure all the facts are covered.

Contact our team today to discuss hiring your next candidate and if counteroffering is right for you and your business.

For employees, there are certainly those times when counter offers work – they can be gratifying but more often than not, the risks outweigh the rewards. If you do decide to leave, reaffirm your intention and be sure to leave on good terms.