Counter-offers-take it or leave it?

Counter-offers are “risky business” for any the job seeker.

When an employer offers a new job to an applicant, the successful applicant usually submits their resignation and makes plans for their next career move.  However, some candidates may deliberately plan to use this new offer as a device to extract a counter offer from their present employer, hoping for a salary raise and, perhaps, an improved position or title.  If an employee tries to use a job offer to prompt a counter-offer, it can backfire. Some consider this as a virtual ransom demand and, in this case, the counter is a virtual bribe from an employer caught off guard by a sudden resignation.

The offer and acceptance of a counter-offer is a mistake for the employer and for the candidate.  The employee who accepts a counter is branded as a person whose commitment and support of the organization is questionable.  The employer is suddenly faced with an unbudgeted salary increase and an unpleasant surprise from a staff member.  This employee may well find himself back on the job market when the organization faces its next budget crisis or staff reduction.  Acceptance of a counter offer is of short-term value.

Some recruiters will counsel the employee to refuse the counter because the recruiter would not be paid when a candidate decides to stay at their job.

Such advice is, of course, self-serving for the recruiter and usually does not serve the best interests of the candidate.

Or, an employee may be surprised that their present employer would even make a counter-offer.

Rule #1:   Don’t let yourself get into a situation where you are offered a job you really don’t want.

Rule #2:  If you negotiate an acceptable offer form a prospective employer, accept it and move on.

Rule#3:.  Counter-offers?  Don’t!

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