Counter offers - how to deal with them?

March 3, 2014 3 mins read
Counter offers - how to deal with them?

How will you deal with a counter offer should your current company make one?

This is a question that you will be asked if you are dealing with an experienced and sensible recruiter. It is also an easy question to answer if you have made up your mind to leave your current company and make a career move. It is important though for you to think about the reasons for you to consider leaving your current role.

What are the main reasons for you to consider leaving? Have you fully explored the possibility of getting what you want with your current employer? Whether this is a promotion, increase in compensation or even getting more exposure than your current role, if your current employer is not aware of your needs, they might not realise this will have an impact on how you view your career with them. They will only realise this when you resign - which at that stage will mean it is essentially too late for both of you.

Consider all these factors and communicate what is on your mind before you make any decisions. If you believe there is no possibility of them offering what you want and you are adamant about leaving, you will not regret your decision and any possible counter offers will not have any impact on your final decision.

Changing your career can be an emotional process, especially when you have built up great internal rapport. Joining a new company and having to re-build all the relationships both internally and sometimes externally requires a lot of determination and can be scary. Remember you did not get to where you were without time and have confidence in your ability to achieve what you have achieved before and even go beyond that.

Counter offers are short term solutions from a company’s perspective and if you handle these in the wrong way will also be a risk for your career and reputation. There is no need to burn any bridges and it is your responsibility to communicate clearly that you are leaving and are not looking for any counter offers. You are simply resigning because of a better opportunity and it is your priority to ensure the handover will be a smooth transition.

The moment you resign is the moment where your loyalty and mutual trust will be questioned and the reasons for you to resign will remain even if you decide to fall for the pressure of a counter offer. From our experience, candidates who accept a counter offer eventually will leave their companies within 6-12 months, and sometimes not for the right reasons.

A lot has been said and written about counter offers and whatever you decide, always remain professional towards all parties and try to remind yourself why you are exploring external opportunities and why you have decided to leave your current company. This will set you back on the right path.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director, Greater China
mmai@morganmckinley.com