Counter-offers - "to accept or not to accept?", that is the question.
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
You'll normally be greeted with lots of well-intended advice to not accept it and very often, with good reason. Although, there are times, I appreciate, when a counter-offer is worth considering.
In this current climate, good quality candidates are hard to find and therefore, from an employer’s perspective, they will naturally want to retain great talent. As a result, counter-offers are on the rise. However, whilst they can be flattering, they do need to be given considerable thought to ensure that you make the right choice for your future. So, before you make a decision on whether to accept, or not to accept a counter-offer, here are 5 questions to ask yourself.
1) Why did you start looking for a new job in the first place?
There are plenty of reasons why it might be time to move on and for most, it won’t be about the money. This is what you need to remember. It can feel flattering to be offered a pay rise and feel instantly wanted again but money is a short-term motivator. Unless the underlying reasons for leaving are addressed, it’s likely you’ll end up back on the job market again.
2) Why now?
If you have a good relationship with your Manager and they value you, you should feel comfortable to discuss your concerns with them. If this is the case, surely you would have addressed any worries or issues with them prior to commencing your search for new employment?
I appreciate that what you are about to read may remove the feeling of flattery of a lovely pay-rise, but frankly, it’s cheaper and easier for a company to pay a bit more to retain an existing valued employee, rather than having to invest in recruiting, training and developing a new starter from scratch. Ask yourself, why now and not before? Of course, there may be a justifiable reason but be careful to think about your long-term situation as you’ll soon get used to earning the extra money and those underlying issues may still remain.
3) Have you taken the time to really think it through?
Understandably, you may have a sense of loyalty to your current team and company and the thought of the upheaval could feel quite stressful. Let's be honest, it could be easier to stay.
Take a few days to really think things through. To ensure you are making the best decision for the long run. It's important that you don't let your emotions come before what's right for your future.
4) How will I be perceived?
There are two things to consider. How will I be perceived by my peers and my manager if I decide to stay? This may be a concern because despite accepting a counter-offer, you may feel a sense of lessening trust in you. You also need to take into consideration, that the company with the offer that you turned down will be reluctant to consider you again for future roles. So, take these factors all into consideration as you deliberate your decision.
5) What will make you happy?
If you are excited at the prospect of working in a new environment and having a more fulfilling role, this could be a sign that you shouldn’t accept the counter-offer. Your long-term happiness must be your primary consideration.
Sticking to what you know may be tempting but taking the time to evaluate your decision will mean that you won’t regret your decision in a few months’ time. So, make sure that, whatever option you choose you accept it for the right reasons.