In the current competitive labor market counteroffers are becoming more common as organizations attempt to keep their valuable talent. When an employee accepts a new job offer and hands in their resignation, it’s possible that the current employer will make a counteroffer to encourage them to stay which typically comes in the form of an increased salary, better benefits package and/or promotion.
However, prior to accepting the counteroffer, you must seriously consider the long-term consequences. So, what are the main reasons for not accepting it?
– The money has changed but the company and environment haven’t: Many people make the mistake of accepting more money to stay with a company not realizing that the job and environment haven’t actually changed. Companies will also often pay more money to keep an employee but reduce or withhold future pay rises to offset the gesture.
– Prolonging the inevitable: People choose to leave their jobs for a variety of complex reasons, including lack of promotion opportunities, underemployment, dissatisfaction with one’s job role or working conditions, and poor compensation packages. By choosing to accept a counteroffer from the same company that they were trying to leave, a person puts themselves in a position where perhaps they have a better income, but they are still facing the same intrinsic problems in the workplace. It is this fundamental dissatisfaction with their current employer that leads many of those who accept counteroffers to leave those jobs anyway.
– The seed of doubt: It may plant a seed of doubt in the employer’s mind. They may question the employees’ long-term motivation and loyalty. Giving notice then changing one’s mind when more money is offered to stay in their current position sends the message that their motivation is purely financial.
– Can cause problems with a team: It could cause resentment among coworkers, who may also question the loyalty.
– Employer motivations: There could be a negative motivation behind the offer. Does the employer genuinely want to keep the employee or are they more concerned with losing them (and any insider information; client knowledge, etc…) to a competitor?
– Place holding: In many instances, companies offer employees a counteroffer simply in order to keep them around long enough to find a suitable replacement. Employees who accept counteroffers are usually replaced with a new long term employee soon afterward. In such cases, the employee concerned will have ended up costing themselves two jobs, one that they cared enough about to apply for in the first place and another that they found so intolerable that they felt compelled to try to leave.
– Burning bridges: Accepting a counteroffer doesn’t just cause harm to an employee’s reputation and standing in their current workplace. It also affects their reputation in broader industry circles, in particular among hiring managers. A person who rejects an offer of employment after enduring a rigorous hiring process appears fickle, untrustworthy and driven purely by monetary greed. Such a candidate will not only have ruined any chance they had of ever working for the company whose offer they rejected, but they will probably also earn a reputation for being a poor hiring choice.
– Devaluing oneself: Counteroffers often include raises and promotions, the consistent lack of which is what drives most people to seek other job opportunities. By accepting a counteroffer, an employee is, in essence, stating that they are comfortable working for a company that will only give them the recognition and the advancement they deserve when they feel backed into a corner. In fact, accepting a counteroffer often makes it that much harder to advance any further in a company if an employee does choose to stay on past the six-month mark.
By Richard Manso, The Founder & Director of Digital Republic Recruitment
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