You’ve found that fantastic new job, passed through the interview and contract negotiations stage with flying colours and now the time has come to hand in your resignation with your current employer… but before you do, it’s time to prepare yourself mentally for a Counter Offer, with pros and cons to every offer, it is definitely something to think on.

What is a Counter Offer? 

A counter offer will often happen when your current employer hears of your planned resignation and it is a negotiation tool to try and help keep you to stay in the company.

A counter offer can come in a couple of forms but most typically, it will be an offer of one or more of the following:

  • An increase in your basic salary
  • A more generous bonus or commission package
  • A sought-after promotion or job title
  • Additional benefits/increase to your current benefits package including more holiday or car allowance etc.
  • Career development or increase in responsibilities in the business, or a move to another department or area that interests you more.

We’d always recommend before you engage in any new job or interview process, to really consider the scenario of being offered an improved salary or job title at your current company… would you take it? If yes, then it can be really worthwhile to investigate this before engaging in a new job search. As if it is a simple case of wanting a better salary or simply more progression opportunities, take the time to discuss this with your current employer and let them know what plans you’d like to grow in your current role.

But perhaps you’d didn’t think this scenario may happen or a counter offer has come through unexpectedly and now left you thinking twice and facing the dilemma to stay or to go. Hopefully, our advice below will help you find the right decision for you.

A Counter Offer to make you think twice? 

On paper, initially, the newly offered benefits and financial rewards of staying put can seem incredibly attractive vs branching out into the unknown but you need to think again about why you took the steps and initiative to look for and apply for a new role. Statistics show, that over 50% of people who accept their counter offers, will still end up leaving for a new job in the following 12 months. So whichever decision you make, be certain to take the time to really think it through, rather than react off the cuff to those impressive numbers on the page or new contract.

There’s more money…  They’ve increased my benefits

This can often be the initial place a counter offer will start, with a generous salary or benefit increase.

Time to think and review… Was money the sole reason you began the new recruitment process? If money is your primary drive for this career change, then this could be a good incentive to stay, but still don’t forget to review why your original employer wasn’t offering you this salary before.

Also, take the time to consider have you received salary reviews before? Did you feel limited to request a salary increase? Has that or will that change going forward? Do you feel this counter offer reflects your value to the company? Think hard on accepting a counter offer for purely financial reasons alone and take the time to review the steps you would need to keep that up that salary progression in the future.

It’s not about the money, they’ve offered me a better version of my role

Occasionally an employer can try and match a career change by offering you more responsibilities, a better job title or an awaited promotion in their counter offer. You need to give yourself the time to reflect and review but primarily, ask yourself does this new version of the role fit in with your long term career goals? When many people first decide to apply for a new job, mostly it will be because the new company or job advert offered progression in a career direction they actively wanted. Does this new title at your old employer still offer you that route to your long term career goal?

Other questions you should reflect on include how you’ve expressed your desire to progress before. Had you let your management know you wanted this career progression before the resignation?

If no, what was it that prevented you from expressing the desire to expand or grow in your role? Often those limitations of feeling unsupported or overlooked can still remain, even if you make the transition up or do you feel this new title will give you the confidence to project your ambitions more, or work with different management teams or will it perhaps leave you feeling the same?

If yes and you had expressed wanting career growth but the timing wasn’t right when you first asked, there are a few things to confirm before jumping in. Just like you would with a new employer, make sure to push further on the finer details for your planned promotion. Ask questions such as when exactly will this new role begin, will it be in the next quarter? Or is it still a long-term vision. What is the salary and benefits package offered in this new role? Will you manage a team? What will your title be? Make sure you are given a full written job offer with the package details listed rather than a loose promise of a promotion sometime soon before you consider turning your other new opportunity down.

If it feels right to stay

Sometimes, after thinking all this through, it can still feel right to stay, but before giving the final nod, give yourself the room to think of how it will feel in the business now they know of your plans to resign and head to pastures new. Will you need to earn trust back? Will there be any resentment from team members over new salaries or roles and it being achieved by an offer to leave. Is all the management team on board with this new offer? Take the time to double-check you will still feel comfortable in the role as you did prior.

How to reject a counter offer

If you’ve thought it all through and the new role is definitely still the winner, then it is time to politely let your current employer know. Whether it is verbally or written, is completely up to you, but kindly let them know you appreciate their offer and want to keep you within the business. Let them know you’ve learned a lot in your current role but that your new direction offers you an exciting opportunity to develop yourself professionally and you are excited by the career growth and potential it offers. Finally, reassure them that the money and benefits, whilst very grateful for the increased offer, are not the main motivators in your decision to leave.

Need more advice on counter offers, career directions, or more? Get in touch with the Noble Futures Team today and we’d love to help support you in finding your dream career opportunity.