The Dangers of Accepting a Counteroffer, Simply Put

MGR Accounting Recruiters in
on Oct 12, 2014. Posted inBlogging In Balance

You decided to pursue a different job opportunity and it has worked out.  The employer has given you an offer and now you are resigning with your boss.  You thank them for the Danger sign - Counteroffers - MGR Accounting Recruitersjob, but explain that you have accepted a new one.  They are devastated.  You have caught them unprepared.  So they do the only thing that seems to make sense at the moment – they ask what it would take for you to stay.  More money, a change of responsibilities…???

“We really need you,” they say.  It’s flattering, and you feel guilty.  So you discuss a few items and all of the sudden you have a promise of a raise!  Wow!  Who wouldn’t just stay, right?  You don’t have to learn about a new employer, and you are suddenly making a lot more money to boot!  You should stay right?  – Wrong.

Money.  At least among office professionals, it is rare that someone decides to change jobs solely to make  more money.  It does happen occasionally, but usually there are other reasons such as boredom, lack of growth, or issues with your boss.  So when a counteroffer comes up and it so obviously takes care of one immediate issue (you are getting a raise), remember that the additional money does not address any of the other reasons that you have decided to leave.  And if there are additional promises made for other changes, remember that they are being made at a time when emotions are running high for both you and your employer, and that it has taken the threat of you leaving to get these concessions.  In our experience anything other than a raise that is promised at this point, such as extra help, changing job duties, etc., takes time to put into effect and often doesn’t come through exactly as promised once the threat of you leaving has expired.

Loyalty.  No matter how strong your relationship was with your boss prior to this point, it has now been compromised.  Should you choose to stay then it will always be in the back of their mind that you were prepared to leave.  And while they may be able to put that fact aside, will their boss be able to overlook it in the future?  What about their bosses’ boss?  If there ever should be a question about who is “loyal” to the organization, it will always be remembered that you were prepared to go and they had to convince you to stay.

For these reasons it is always a safer bet to go forward with your original decision to leave regardless of what type of counteroffer is proposed.  There are many cases where things could change and you decide to pull out of a job search prior to this point, but once the resignation conversation with your employer has started, it truly is in your best interest long-term to stick with your original decision.

I wish you the best in your search.

Mark Goldman CPA