Why Accepting a Counteroffer is Usually a Disaster

Counteroffers can come up during the hiring process as employers compete for the best candidates in the field. If you’ve ever received one, then you already know that they can be alluring, as they offer you more money without making a huge change, yet often are a double-edged sword. The truth is, counteroffers have a very low success rate, and candidates usually regret taking one. Here’s why accepting a counteroffer is usually a disaster.

Leads to Resentment

Once you’ve provided a two-week resignation notice, your employer is going to question your loyalty going forward, even after you accept their counteroffer. You’ll be considered a flight-risk and that stigma can stay with you as they consider you for promotions in the future.

Raises Questions About Leadership

It can also be a legitimate indicator of poor leadership, as they are essentially admitting that they were underpaying and/or under-appreciating you. Your compensation should be reviewed on a regular basis and adjusted according to individual performance, as well as current heavy manufacturing market salaries for your region. The fact that they liked you enough to make a counteroffer, yet had not been keeping you happy, can be telling about the company.

More Money Doesn’t Fix Everything

There are usually legitimate reasons why people resign from their jobs. In spite of the pay increase that most counteroffers provide, they won’t fix the underlying issues that made you start looking in the first place. Counteroffers may also increase expectations your boss has regarding your hours, productivity, and responsibilities.

At the least, counteroffers delay the inevitable divorce, and can cause missed opportunities. Every person who’s taken a counteroffer has come back to me a few months later asking if the job is still open. It rarely is. Acknowledge the inconvenience that your departure may cause but explain why the new opportunity is in your best interest.



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