4 Reasons You Should Never Accept a Counteroffer

By: Kyra McCue on February 14th, 2022

Oftentimes, in recruiting, a counteroffer refers to the offer an employer makes to an employee in hopes of keeping them at their company after putting in a resignation. After being presented a counteroffer, the employee has three choices: accept the counteroffer, decline the counteroffer, or present a new offer. It is almost always within the employee’s best interest to decline the counteroffer and accept the job with a new employer.  

If you are considering a counteroffer, you may find the following statistics and insights helpful: 

It does not fix the initial problems 

Statistics show that 50% of people who accept counteroffers leave for new opportunities within 12 months. This is because the underlying problems that initially made you look for new opportunities will often remain unresolved even after accepting a counteroffer with higher pay or better benefits. While compensation may have an impact on job satisfaction, there are other key aspects that are harder to combat, such as growth opportunities, culture fit, and work-life balance. You should consider the factors that are most important to you and have an honest conversation with yourself about the likelihood of these conditions being met within your current role. 

Your loyalty is in question 

Once you tell your current employer that you are considering resigning, they will likely start questioning your loyalty to the company. Aside from creating awkward tension, this may also lead your boss to pass you up for promotion opportunities in fear that you are still planning to leave the company. You may even be seen as expendable compared to other members of your team who have always shown unwavering loyalty. If career progression is something that is important to you, it should be noted that there is often more room for growth in an environment where you can start fresh, without history or threat of resignation impacting the decision.  

It proves that you are being undervalued 

Most counteroffers include a pay raise, which could be appealing if pay is one of the factors that led you to hand in your resignation. Before accepting, make sure you consider why you weren’t offered a higher salary before announcing your departure. It can be helpful to utilize a salary calculator to see how your pay compares to similar positions in your area. If you find that your salary is on the low end of the spectrum, ask yourself the following questions: Does your employer value your work? Do they believe you were being paid fairly? If a new employer is willing to give you a higher salary upfront, that can be a great indication of the value and potential they expect you can bring to their team.  

There are better opportunities elsewhere 

Consider the reasons that this new job opportunity drove you to put in your resignation. Maybe the salary was higher, there was more flexibility, or room for growth, but whatever that reason may be, it’s worth exploring. It can be risky to leave a job that you’re familiar with, but it’s also risky for an employer to add a new member of their team. If the new company is willing to take the chance on you, then you should consider taking the chance on them as well. No good comes out of staying within our comfort zones, right? 

How to decline a counteroffer 

The thought of declining a counteroffer may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Reach out to your employer through their preferred method of communication and tell them that while you appreciate them wanting to keep you at their organization, you’ve decided to move forward with the other job offer. It’s best to leave on good terms, so you may also want to thank them for the chance to gain experience in your previous role. Finally, you may also consider providing a brief but honest reason why you decided to go your separate way and tell your current employer that you’d like to stay in touch 

Still looking for your next opportunity? Search our open positions here or send your resume to info@hnmsystems.com!