The Infamous Counter Offer: 4 Things to Consider

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Sep 22, 2015 8:30:00 AM

In Interview Tips

How would you feel if you were offered a $10,000 raise, a corner office, or a fancy new job title? Anyone would be tempted to stay at their current job if they are offered these things; even if their current position is not the right fit for them.

These are just a few of the incentives employers offer employees who announce they are looking to quit. The current job market is highly demanding and so it can be devastating to a manager when they find out they have to replace one of their best assets. All of this sets a stage for the counter offer in order to convince their star team members to stick around instead of jumping ship.

So in comes the Infamous Counter Offer...

Employers are willing to get creative in finding ways to keep you – but before you get blinded by the new shiny items being thrown your way, it is important to keep your focus and ask yourself this important question:

Why do I want to leave my current company?

Infinity Consulting Solutions conducted qualitative research in the form of a series of interviews with Chicago-based hiring managers. The hiring managers unanimously agreed that money is never the sole motivating factor for someone to switch a job.

The fact is that over 50% of employees who accept a counter offer end up leaving the company within 24 months. 

Here are some common and substantiated reasons for wanting to leave. If you fall within these categories, you might want to consider sticking to your guns and not accepting the counter offer:

Common Reasons for Quitting

  • Disagreement with Manager
  • Loss of Confidence in the Company
  • Commute Time
  • Limited Growth Opportunities/Pigeon Holing
  • Desire to Work for a Larger or Smaller Company

Regardless of your motivation to leave, it is important to consider why your boss may want you to stay:

1. Is this about them or you? Is your boss trying to make your personal situation better or does he/she not have the time and energy to find your replacement? Will your manager look bad to their boss if they can’t retain employees?

One of the hiring managers interviewed during our research tells us his thoughts on counter offers:

“I refuse to ever give a counter offer to an employee because if we had the right working relationship then he/she would have approached me on what could be fixed to keep them happy.  They clearly didn’t value our relationship in that regard and when it gets to that point, it’s time to move on”

A few other considerations:

2. It is likely your company won’t be able to trust you again. You walked away once and established that your loyalty has been comprised. They have little to no assurance that you won’t be enticed again should another opportunity to leave arise. This means there is a chance you won’t be given the room to grow should you stay since you are perceived as a flight risk.

3. How will your fellow co-workers feel towards you if they found out you tried to walk away? We spend a great deal of time at work, and the bonds we forge with our colleagues are important to workplace happiness. You might be ostracized or alienated should your teammates find out you were looking to leave.

4. Why are you just now worth an extra $5,000-10,000?  Were you not valued before? This is an important factor to consider especially if pay was a key motivation when you were choosing to leave.

When it is time to give your notice to your existing employer (remember 2 weeks notice is standard and also respectful), thank them for their time, tell them you have thoroughly enjoyed working with them, and  that you believe this is the best move for you at this time after careful consideration.  Once you have given your notice, stay true to your decision and avoid accepting the counteroffer. Remain hardworking and polite as you exit your role – even if your time there wasn’t well spent, take the high road – you never know where you career paths may cross again.

Ready to begin the job search? Visit to search for roles that fit you and your unique talents.