Countering the Counter Offer

Countering the Counter Offer

22 November 2021 by Justin Rush

Making the decision to change jobs is difficult, it is necessary to rule with your head and not your heart. You have made the decision to move on because it is the right thing to do.  You have assessed options, undertaken interviews, assessments and more.  You have put in the hard work and agreed a new and better deal.  The reaons for moving on have been justified.

Unless your employer is glad to see you go, you should now expect your employer to make you an offer to remain.

This is not a time to worry, forewarned is forearmed. You are not the first person and definitely won’t be the last, to have to deal with what is fast becoming the new norm. This blog should answer a few questions, allay concerns and provide some statistics around the counteroffer scenario. Hopefully, it will help you arrive at an informed decision.

What is a counteroffer and why does this happen?

In short – A counter-offer is when the current employer offers the employee, who has just presented their resignation, an improvement in existing terms and conditions. This normally looks like:

  1. More Money – This is the most common type of counteroffer.  Think of it as a knee jerk reaction, it normally involves a pay increase beyond what you have just been offered. What you have to ask yourself is, why have I not been given this pay rise before handing in my resignation? Did they not value me until I told them I was leaving?
  2. Job Promotion – Suddenly you are offered the Manager/Supervisor/VP/Senior position or the title you have been working towards for X amount of time.  Not financially beneficial, more of a status item, but normally comes with better terms to keep you on board.
  3. Better benefits – This can be a number of factors like; shares within the company, more days of annual leave, better work/life balance and flexibility or new bonus component involved in your role. Again, all very well and good, but why has this not been brought to the table before?

Stats behind the counteroffer

  • Around 80% of candidate that accept a counteroffer end up leaving their current employer within 6 months. Why?The underlying issues of leaving in the first place are still there, which include no progression, over-worked/long hours, no work/life balance, micromanaged, toxic culture etc…. We find that because you now have a better salary/bigger title, etc your employer can be see you differently.  Questions of loyalty will persist.  There is also often the case that more money and title results in higher expectations in terms of output.
  •  9 out of 10 employees leave within 12 months. If you thought the top statistic was bad, this really emphasises the underlying conditions of why you wanted to leave in the first place.
  • 57% of employees accept counteroffers This is an incredibly high statistic. Sometimes accepting the decision to stay with the current employer is the best choice for your current circumstance. You must make sure you have satisfactory answers to the question ‘why has it taken my exit to trigger this reaction?’ More often than not, as the stats above show, the short-term gain accepting a counteroffer doesn’t last. The reason you were looking for a job in the first-place creeps back in.

A final thought…


It is of course better to avoid the counter-offer situation if possible, however this requires some firm action on your behalf.  Namely, making your employer aware of your dissatisfaction and agreeing a course of action that will allow you to be satisfied and committed going forward.  Believe it or not, this is the preferred option we at Abacus recommend.  Clear the air which your employer if you can, make sure they know your position.  If changes can be made, then lets get them made, if not it really is time to look elsewhere.  


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