Counteroffers

Why you should and should not accept a counteroffer from your current company?

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Counteroffers are offered at a time when you resign from your current company. Due to you finding another role in another company – and the company wanting to keep you. While these types of counteroffers have a bad rap in the industry, there are times when to consider them and when to run away faster.

Counteroffers have a bad rap. Due to candidates known to just get an offer, so they can see if their company offers them more money. From a company point of view, it could be the time when the company realizes, they did not look after the staff member well during their tenure.

Why might you accept a counteroffer?

50% of candidates are made a counteroffer, says statistics. We believe most of these statistics were in the US and we find it to be allot less in South Africa.  Often when candidates accept the counteroffer, they believe the source of the problem (the reason they were leaving) was due to money. Being offered a much larger salary, in a company you know and, in a job, you know backwards – seems like a safe bet.

But statistics show that almost 90% of candidates that accept the counteroffer leave within 6 months. The reason being is that the candidate works out quite soon, nothing but their salary has changed. And that they were leaving due to leadership, growth, culture, or flexibility issues – which are still an issue.

Why should you not accept a counteroffer?

There are more reasons for not accepting than accepting a counteroffer:

1. Your happiness

Deciding to look for a new job (or a new job found you) there was a reason you updated your cv, sent it, went to the interview(s) and filled in numerous forms and signed an offer letter! Statistics show around only 12% of candidates leave for money, majority leave for many other reasons. Try remembering your original motivator to leave and often you will find it had to do with your happiness.

2. Damaged employer relationship

Once you have resigned, received a counteroffer, and accepted it – the relationship instantly goes to distrust. From both sides – the trust factor is in disarray. The company feels like you did not trust them to talk about your issues or that you went extreme and resigned. You feel like they should have heard or known your issues and worked on those before you had to resign. They also feel like you only stayed for the money – so there is now no loyalty. Unfortunately, all these only come up once you have signed the counteroffer.

3. Will things really change?

Yes, you will get more money at the end of the month (often you find with tax it is not always the amount you hoped). But the company remains as is, the leadership team remains, the culture remains, and the job, pressure, clients, suppliers, and colleagues remain as is. So, what changed? The concerns you had (that you voiced or felt) will still be there and as the statistics show you will resign for good in 6 months’ time (this time the new job won’t be waiting).

4. Retrenchment and Restructure concerns?

The next concern in the volatile world we live in, is one big client lost or a cash flow shortage and the company will start to look at how to restructure. Unfortunately, now due to some trust issues you will not be seen as number one to protect or keep! You did express a desire to leave (so they will say).

5. Change is as good as holiday?

The quote “there is no reward in life without risk”. By staying you may have stunted your growth, did not change, and did not take the risk. Turning down the counteroffer would have worked your ego nicely; the new company would have offered you change – exactly what you were looking for!

6. Ruining your name?

By accepting an offer and then backtracking due to a counteroffer, ensures you get blacklisted in the industry. A blacklist exists between some agencies and companies, in candidates that are only looking for counteroffers, or are not to be trusted. A list you do not want to be on, especially if the statistics are that post a counteroffer you leave anyway.

7. Fear of missing out

Even if you do not have FOMO the question will be – what if? You know what is happening (and going to happen in your current company), but you do not know the new company. Questions to ask yourself like What if they are better? If there is more more growth? What if the culture matches better to your skills? What if?

8. How much do you value yourself?

Your current company did not appreciate you enough to change or allow you to grow, so you had to look elsewhere. The new company is excited to have you on board. Is it nice to know that 2 companies value your skills? It is much easier to decline a counteroffer and take a new offer than to backtrack and lose your value.

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