Should you say no to a counter offer?

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Read time - 02:01

It seems like a perfect scenario. You feel you are not paid enough and you decide to look for a job that will pay you enough. You go on a sacred job search and you get a good offer. Now you tell your boss that you are resigning and instead of him saying good luck on your journey, he gives you a counter offer. What do you do, take the offer or leave?

Let's delve into this
Something made you consider leaving your job in the first place. It could be lack of growth, company culture or money. But your company made you an offer to stay - does it mean they have suddenly realised your value? Maybe! But what you probably do not know is; most counter offers are about the benefit of the company and not you.

The nitty-gritties:

People who take counter offers always leave

Statistics show most people who accept counter offers eventually leave the company after 6 to 12 months.  One example is that of a Junior Developer that received three different offers from three different companies only to accept a counter offer from his existing company. They gave him a hefty increase, paid for his studies and allowed him to work from home. He was happy to stay there but he still left after 6 months to pursue other offers. This is because a salary increase never solves the underlying problems that had you wanting to leave in the first place.

Counter offers benefit the company and not you
Many companies use counter offers as a retention tool, for example, a candidate accepted a counteroffer - his salary is increased and he gets regular bonuses but they are retention bonuses. Each time one is paid out, he has to stay with the company for a certain number of months.

Understand the value of new opportunities
From an advancement point of view, you may be better off taking a new role than the counter offer as it might give you the progression you are looking for. Changing jobs might be stressful but it is sometimes necessary in order for you to grow. You will miss a great opportunity, which your current employer was unable to offer you. That is not to say that the grass is always greener on the other side but you would not be looking over the wall if you were 100% happy in the first place.

There are plenty of arguments for and against accepting a counter offer but the reality is only you will be able to decide what is the right thing to do for your career. It is very important that you consider both sides of the argument and consider what will best suit you to achieve your long-term career goals.

Communicate Recruitment Connects Great People with great careers in the IT, Finance, Engineering and Freight industries throughout South Africa. If you need assistance in finding your next job opportunity, connect with us today.