ASG News & Blogs

Why Accepting A Counteroffer Can Be a Mistake

Author: Dan Scott

Industry statistics show that 85% of people who accept counteroffers leave their employer within six months. In my 30 years as a recruiter, I have found this to be true.

You’ve gone through the interview process and made the agonizing decision to leave your employer.

Why have you decided to leave?

It usually hinges on two things; you see a greater path to success at the new firm, and you have a clear understanding of how success is defined and rewarded.

But clearly, there is a leap of faith involved and that creates anxiety. Will this new position be everything you hoped?

It’s a very stressful time. As a recruiter, I’m very cognizant of this.

Then comes the difficulty of giving notice. There’s often a lot of drama.

And, your current employer is going through the stress of figuring out how to replace you. With the shortage of talent that exists right now that’s a real predicament.

If you’re a partner in a law firm (my bailiwick) they’re wondering if you’re going to take clients with you.

Then, your employer offers you more money to stay.

It feels like a relief. They love you! The stress of proving yourself at a new job disappears. Same office, same commute, same everything.

And, More Money!

But what’s really going on?

In most cases it’s a stop-gap measure for your employer. They’re giving themselves a short term solution, and they often will never look at you the same way again; after all, you made them come up with money outside of the regular bonus period. Some employers will start looking for your replacement (we call them ‘confidential searches’) Upper management may see you as disloyal.

And chances are, money wasn’t your only reason for leaving. Once you get used to that extra money in your pocket those issues will start to frustrate you again. A company isn’t going to fundamentally change the way they do business just to keep you.

Also, think of your reputation in your industry. The organization that made you an offer shut their process down and told the other people they were interviewing that they had made a decision. Now they have to start that whole process over again.


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