What is a Counteroffer?

There are many reasons that you may seek out a new job while you are currently employed. Perhaps you feel undervalued or undercompensated for your hard work. Perhaps you feel static in your current position, with little opportunity for growth or promotion. Perhaps you simply need a greater income. While it is perfectly acceptable and even prudent to seek new employment while you are already employed, many people do not expect the added stress and confusion caused by counteroffers from current employers upon your resignation notice. Simply put, a counteroffer is any form of incentive or inducement that your employer uses in order to persuade you to stay instead of to resign.

Why are Counteroffers Made?

The most important thing for you to be aware of is that counteroffers nearly always serve the greater good of the company, not you. Your manager is immediately concerned with how your resignation will impact him or her and the company at large. Keep in mind that while two weeks notice is standard etiquette on your end, your manager will still be faced with the task of rehiring someone on relatively short notice, and it is often more desirable to keep you on staff than to hire someone new. This is especially true if your manager is already busy, is approaching a year-end review, is understaffed, or is planning a personal vacation. In short, counteroffers are made to minimize disruptions within the company and to protect the employer.

What Will My Manager Say?

Depending on the nature of your job and your relationship with your manager, you may be addressed in various ways and the specifics of the counteroffer may vary. Sometimes a manager will say, “Let me give you raise starting now that I was planning to give you next quarter” or will offer other non-monetary incentives such as more vacation time or more creative work. Employers will often try to evoke fear, guilt, pity, and other emotional responses as a tactic to get you to stay. For example, your manager may say something to the effect of:

  • “I hate to see you leave after so many years of working together and after you’ve done so much great work for the company.”
  • “If you hold out a little longer, I do plan on giving you a promotion.”
  • “Let’s brainstorm together to come up with ways to make your job more stimulating, challenging, or meaningful.”
  • “Watch out because I have heard bad things about your prospective employer.”
  • “How could you do this to me at this point in the year?”

So Why Should I Decline a Counteroffer?

The bottom line is that you should not have to threaten to resign to be compensated and/or treated properly by your employer. If you were highly valued and appropriately compensated, you would likely not be looking for employment elsewhere to begin with. Keep the following points in mind when faced with a counteroffer scenario, and put a great deal of thought into the decision if you feel at all persuaded by the counteroffer:

  • Monetary counteroffers may simply be from funds that you would be getting anyway–for an annual raise or bonus, for example–but presented immediately. This means you are not really receiving a true monetary incentive.
  • Despite accepting a counteroffer, the circumstances that led you to seek new employment will very likely repeat themselves in the future.
  • Your employer is now aware that you are unhappy and the relationship may become strained.
  • Tensions may arise with colleagues who find out about the counteroffer.
  • Your recruiter and/or your prospective employer may feel betrayed and you may compromise future job opportunities.
  • Your career goals and professional growth may be seriously stunted by the decision to stay where you are.

Remember that ad+one will partner with you to help you find your ideal job with an employer that greatly values and fairly compensates you from day one. Contact us today to begin your search for new and better position.

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