Everything you should know about Counter-Offers and is accepting one is right for you?

So you get offered a new job. You’re excited about it, but when you hand your notice in, your current employer starts panicking and asks what they can do to make you stay.

Employers know that it will be difficult (and costly) to replace those leaving, so instead, they try to do everything they can to make the person stay. And it’s nice to feel wanted!

What do we mean by counter-offer?

A counter-offer is an offer from your current employer to rival the one you have received through an interview process, in the hope to make you reconsider.

It’s worth noting; Counter-offers often stem from the inconvenience that the company will face if you leave. And while sometimes they could be genuine (for example, fast-forwarding a pay rise or promotion that was going to happen anyway), it could also be a way of saying they didn’t value you, to begin with.

According to LinkedIn, on average, 80% of those who accept a counter-offer reopen their job search in as little as three months.


People, job searching, is hard, and time-consuming. Who has the time to stop and start this process?

Moving jobs can be a very stressful life event and it can impact a lot of other aspects of your life. So to save you the pain, we’re sharing everything you need to know before accepting a counter-offer.

Rewind  – why did you want to leave your job?

First off, let’s rewind a second. You have to know very clearly why you want to leave your job in the first place before starting your job search. By doing this, at the beginning of your search, you’ll be able to work out whether a counter-offer is right for you.

Read our blog How to work out what you really want before starting your job search for help on this step.

What to do when you get a counter-offer?

If you are open to accepting a counter-offer, then listen to what they have to say, and think about it. There was a reason you chose to start job hunting in the first place. Don’t even entertain the idea if you’re not into it. But if you are considering it then take time to really think about what they are offering and what it would mean for you.

In essence, if a counter-offer overcomes all the issues you had with your current offer, then why not stay.  But if there were other factors (culture, work/life balance etc.) then chances are they won’t be fixed and you should think twice.

You wanted a counter-offer and got one.

There are better ways to get what you want. Putting yourself on the job market with the intention of taking a job offer to your current employer and asking them to match it or offer something better is a huge gamble.

If you do this your relationship with your manager is probably going to be pretty damaged. They know you interviewed for another role. Your manager will constantly question your loyalty going forward, and because of that, your job security could significantly decrease. The better way to approach the situation would be to arrange a time with your manager to talk about the things that are making you unhappy and would like to change before starting your job search.

The offer of professional development

Ok, this could be sneaky from your current employer. When you’re first offered this opportunity you might think, amazing! All my issues are solved. But really think about this one. Could this be a false promise? Before making any decisions, you need to ask them what changes they are going to make (specifically) to meet your issues and improve your ‘quality of job’. For example, are they going to hire someone to help with your current workload to free up time to get the experience you desire? Or will they give you the opportunity to learn but with no support for your current workload – which could lead to double the work for you.

And you should also consider your longer-term employability too.  great to have spent 10, 15 plus years in the same organisation. But if that’s the only place you’ve worked, it might be a good idea to diversify your employment background and move on.

The offer of more money

A lot of the time with counter offers your current employer will offer you more money to see if that will make you stay. Sometimes a lot more money.

Well, do just be a little careful here, more money is great but were you looking to leave because of your basic salary in the first place?

If not then; the work you didn’t like, the manager you didn’t like, and the company culture you didn’t like are still going to be there. You’re just making a little more money – so you need to weigh up whether that’s worth it?

Of course, sometimes accepting a counter-offer can give you everything you were seeking out in the first place but it requires thought before accepting. Reminder 80% of those who accept a counter-offer reopen their job search in as little as three months.

Seek some advice…

At iMultiply we spend time getting to know you. Only by understanding your aspirations and career goals can we match you with a role that will enable you to flourish. We’re also able to offer professional development and support, which means you should get in touch even if a career move isn’t on the horizon.

For support and guidance with your career planning reach out to one of our consultants.

Want to advance your career without moving jobs?

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