Ask A Recruiter: Should I Consider A Counter Offer?

This is one of the most common roadblocks that occurs during a job change. Over 75% of job candidates are passive, meaning that they are currently employed and not actively looking. As recruiters, we are educated and experienced on how to navigate the rocky road of the job hunt journey, including the strategy of exiting.

Regardless of the reason you decided to leave your job, chances are you have provided value to your current company and built a positive rapport with those you work with. With that being said, giving your notice can pose a problem.

*enter counter offer, stage left*

A counter offer can present itself in many ways. It could be something as tangible as a compensation increase, perhaps a title change, or maybe your boss takes to the art of persuasion, convincing you to stay based on emotions.

So, how do you respond?

Run! Don’t do it! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200!

Yes, it would be great if you accepted the job I helped you find, but I also am looking out for your best interest. I know what the road looks like ahead and the statistics do not lie:

80% of employees that accept a counter offer will still leave within 6 months, with 93% leaving within 18 months.

If those numbers don’t have you convinced, here are a few others things to consider:

  • It should not take a resignation for your boss to express their gratitude. If you are leaving because you feel underappreciated, don’t you think it’s unfortunate that you need to propose leaving to send your boss into action? It’s like threatening to break-up with your boyfriend and he says, “No wait, I’ll change!” We all know how that goes.
  • Now it’s awkward. So say you do take that pay increase. Now what? Well, now there’s an undertone of trust issues, your loyalty is in question, and to be honest, you are going to be under your boss’s microscope for the foreseeable future. After all, you’re a flight risk now. That’s a yucky feeling to have for 40 hours a week. Just saying.
  • Did accepting the counter offer actual FIX the problem? If you were bothered by the company culture or the way management treats you, how could bumping your salary 10% remedy that? Think about it. How are your concerns truly being addressed?
  • You’re going against your instincts. Something in your gut told you “It’s time for me to leave” and wavering from that feeling can be dangerous. Think back to the last time your gut instinct was wrong…it’s hard to come up with something, right?

At the end of the day, leaving the comforts of your current job can be scary. I understand. What you need to keep in mind is to remain confident in your choice to move on. The unsettling feeling of taking a leap will fade fast as you walk into the new chapter in your career book.

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