You've made it! You've navigated your way through the process of finding yourself a new job - perfecting your CV, standing out at interviews, landing a job offer for a great new position and finally writing the perfect resignation letter and giving it to your boss to let them know you're leaving. Job done, right?
But what happens when your boss doesn't want you to go and comes back to you with a counter offer in a bid to tempt you to stay on? This is a common tactic, with up to 50% of people who hand in their notice being counter offered. So how do you tackle this situation?
Many people's first reaction would be to tell you to decline the counter offer. According to research done by eclipse recruitment software, up to 80% of people who accept a counter offer end up leaving within 6 months, and up to 9 out of 10 within the year. It isn't an easy decision and one that shouldn't be made lightly. You should always weigh up the pros and cons, considering what is right for you in the long term - regardless of how tempting the counter offer is.
What is a counter offer?
In the simplest of terms, a counter offer is an offer made in response to another offer. It is intended to make you reconsider your decision to leave and usually promises a pay rise or promotion. In recruitment, a counter offer is a company's attempt to stop a high performing member of their team from leaving; it is usually made once an employee has given notice.
What are the drawbacks of staying
There are many reasons why the best option may be to turn down the counter offer and take your new role.
Work Culture: If you're leaving due to an environment that is just not right for you, then no amount of compensation, pay rise or training is worth staying where you are.
Just a Payrise: If your future career prospects are more important to you than short-term financial gain and your current employer offers you a slight pay rise to stay, you should probably consider turning down the counter offer.
Poor Relationship: If you already have a poor relationship with your manager, and that is why you are leaving, handing in your notice may create a further lack of trust or even some level of resentment if you choose to stay. If your manager feels that you aren't fully committed to the company, you may get bypassed for promotions or future training opportunities.
Don't Want To Recruit: Sometimes, a business may counter offer to save them the hassle of recruiting for your replacement. If you feel that this may be the case, it might be best to head for the nearest exit.
How to handle a counter offer
Whatever the reasoning behind your resignation, if you do receive a counter offer, don't accept or reject it straight away. Take these tips under consideration.
Meet with your manager and discuss the counter offer
Your first stop should always be your manager. Have a discussion with them and find out why they want to keep you. Find out if it is because they really value you as a part of the team or if it is to simply save on recruitment costs. You should use this time to consider that conversation and the terms of the counter offer to make sure that you are making the best decision for yourself. You don't need to make an immediate decision - tell your manager that you will need a couple of days to mull it over.
Compare it against your new job offer.
Take some time to weigh up everything in the counter offer and then compare it with the offer from your new potential employer. Try not to just look at the finance and benefits aspect of the offers. You need to understand where you see yourself in the long term. Where will you be able to develop? Who has the best chance to progress? Which business values align most with your personal values? Take into account company culture, and vision as these factors can affect how happy, motivated and engaged you are at work.
Chat with your recruitment consultant
If you are working with a Recruitment Consultant, you should tell them about the counter offer as soon as possible. Recruiters will have been through and seen this process hundreds of times with their candidates and will be in a great position to offer you their professional opinion on how to proceed. You may think that your Recruiter will want you to accept the offer from the new employer, but this won't be the case. The Recruiter will want to show their client that the candidates they are supplying will stay for the long term and not bounce back to their previous employer after a short period.
Think back to why you originally wanted to move on
Almost all of the time, a counter offer will involve a pay increase, but money isn't always the reason people leave their jobs. Some of the main reasons for a change of position are; seeking a better work-life balance, developing and gaining new skills, seeking more challenge or responsibility or finding a better work culture. Ask yourself the question, "why did I want to move in the first place?" and assess if the counter offer gives you what you need.
Trust your gut
"Trust your gut", "listen to your heart", and "trust your instincts" are all sayings that you are probably familiar with. These apply when you're looking for a new job too. Although it is definitely recommended that you are methodical when weighing up the pros and cons of the counter offer against a new job offer that you have accepted, if you have a feeling in the back of your mind that staying isn't the correct thing to do, you should listen to it. Your "gut feeling" or "inner voice" told you to look for a new job in the first place, whether it was down to a lack of challenge, toxic culture, bad management or any other reason, ignoring your "gut feeling" and accepting a counter offer could cost you down the line.
Whether you decide to accept the counter offer and stay and accept the new job and leave depends on your own personal situation, considering your financial needs and career goals. Once you have made your mind up, let your employer and Recruiter or new employer know as soon as you can. At the end of the day, only you know what the best path for you and your career is, but hopefully, the above advice will help you make a decision.
Are you looking for a new job? Employment Solutions are here to help get in touch by giving the team a call on 0161 839 5353 or hit register at the top of the page today,