As a staffing agency, Anchor Point employees are seeing more of the same thing happening when we extend an offer to a candidate: the candidate’s current employer counteroffers. I recently came across an article in U.S. News & World Report that talked about this very dilemma, and I have highlighted the main points below.
At first you may be flattered by this gesture, feeling like your management must really value you as an employee if they are going so far as to outbid your new offer. However, accepting a counteroffer will most likely backfire in the long run. Here’s why:
1. When breaking the news to your employer that you are taking a new job offer, your employer might immediately panic about losing you, especially if there is an important conference coming up or deadlines to meet. They might need to keep you on temporarily. However, once the big event has passed, your employer, as well as other employees, may view you as the one who doesn’t really want to be there. If layoffs or cut backs start to happen, you will most likely be at the top of the list.
2. Your company might counteroffer simply to keep you on until they can find a replacement for you. In their minds, if you were looking for new opportunities before, you’re going to be looking for them again soon. Regardless, you will most likely be let go at some point once you indicate to your employer that you aren’t content being where you are. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of employees who accept counteroffers either leave themselves or are let go within a year.
3. If you were using an offer in order to get more money from your current employer, think what it took for you to get that raise. Why weren’t you able to negotiate an increase in salary yourself? It took your employer the thought of losing you as an employee in order to give you what you needed. This can only indicate that a raise in the future won’t come easily.
4. If money wasn’t your motivator in looking for a new position, then what was? Were you seeking a new challenge? Did you feel like an outsider? Were you underappreciated? Have you finally hit your breaking point with your boss? Accepting your company’s counteroffer isn’t going to change these factors that made you unhappy in the first place. You’ll likely be looking again even after getting the raise.
5. If you take a company or recruiter all the way through the entire hiring process only to accept a counteroffer from your current employer, you have most likely burned that bridge with the people working to get you a new opportunity. You can almost count on them not wanting to work with you in the future, as they will think you will back out and be a waste of their time again.
Of course there are always exceptions. Sometimes it may end up working out, and accepting a counteroffer could be in your best interest. However, whenever a counteroffer is involved you should take these points to heart and proceed with caution.