Counter Offers: 9 Reasons To Never Accept One

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on May 17, 2013 9:02:00 AM

In Interview Tips

As the job market improves, many staffing agencies need to prepare their candidates for an industry where lucrative offers could be placed in their laps. However, preparing candidates for Counter Offers is particularly tricky. Counter Offers may seem like attractive deals; after all, they might show from a firm that they like a candidate enough to want to keep them from leaving. However, staffing companies need to tell their candidates that Counter Offers are not as lucrative or appealing as they sound. Here are 9 reasons to never accept a Counter Offer.

1. Counter Offers Buy Companies Time
The Counter Offer is sometimes a strategy by the company to keep you on for a while until they find someone permanent to replace you. The company entices you with better work or a higher wage. Then, once you accept the Counter Offer, the company scrambles to find a permanent replacement or reorganize their business without your position. Once they have that replacement or figure out how to survive without you, the Counter Offer could be gone and so could you.

2. Could Signal Weak Company
To some analysts, Counter Offers are a sign of desperation. By tempting the company with your departure and receiving a Counter Offer, this could potentially mean that they are in desperate need of your help. Who is to say that the company is not also desperate to have everyone stay as well? The company might not be administratively or fiscally solvent to survive a worker’s departure. Maybe they do not have the time or money to re-train someone or maybe you were too crucial for the company. Quality companies can survive the absence of a worker if they are fiscally healthy or confident and they can replace you quickly from the large labor pool. A Counter Offer could be seen as a sign of weakness on the company.

3. Could Signal Bad Management
Similar to above “could signal weak company,” the bad management theory highlights how a manager who provides a worker a Counter Offer could be showing their reactive nature. If hearing news about you leaving alarms the manager so much that they jump in with a Counter Offer, then it could be a sign that the manager thinks too quickly on their feet or that they never thought much of you until now. You do not want a threat to be the only reason why a manager decides to reward or keep you. Management should consistently try to remind the worker of their value and show it with worker benefits. When one threatens to leave, good management will try their best to talk with the worker, not immediately offer what is essentially a bribe. Getting caught off-guard and throwing a Counter Offer to you could be a sign that the management was bad to begin with.

4. Could Establish A Bad Reputation
This will especially happen if you have accepted an offer with another company. It will show bad work-relationship skills if you accept to work somewhere else, but then accept the Counter Offer at your old job. This can reverberate across your regional business sector or within your industry.

5. You Will Be the First To Go In Bad Times
The company will see you as the first person to fire when times get rough. Why struggle to keep a person who did not want to be at the company and threatened to leave? Management will always remember that you were once willing to leave for a better offer.

6. You Will Be Viewed With Suspect
Co-workers might begin to distrust you since you threatened to leave the company or they see you as being hostile with management. Management might also think it is in your nature to jump ship since you proposed the threat. They may also view you antagonistically, harming any cohesive work relationship you might have in the office. As a result, the office environment might look at you with some suspect.

7. Any Lucrative Deals Will Be Baselined
The initial Counter Offer may seem too good to be true. The problem is that once the company latches onto you with that new raise or benefit package, there is little incentive for the company to offer you a raise or more benefits over the long-term. Since that was the offer you accepted, the company knows what level of income excited you. If you stay with the company over time, like half a decade to a decade, you might not see much or any raise during that time.

8. Most Workers Leave
Many workers who accept the Counter Offer realize that they accepted the offer because of its personal rush of being verified as a quality asset. Once the person starts working again at the company, the company culture, management issues, or basic office chemistry may begin to sour how the worker views the company. Jumping onto the Counter Offer just fulfills a high. Once the high runs out, the worker begins questioning and seeing how the company really is.

9. Counter Offers Do Not Solve The Problem
Unless it was the wage, most Counter Offers do not fix the problems associated with why you threatened to leave. If the management does not satisfy your needs, then by accepting a Counter Offer only avoided the problem temporarily. The problems with the company or what you have with the company will come up again soon after you accept the Counter Offer.