Sep 222012

GigSpire was asked:

“What are the pros of accepting a counter offer from your own company when you’ve found another job and what are the cons?”

GigSpire’s Answer:

Counter offers happen regularly, particularly if you are a good worker. The sad part is studies demonstrate that in most cases (some show more than 80%) people who accept a counter offer leave and start a new job in 6 months or less.

Here is why:

Most people choose to leave a company for more than money, status or prestige. Some of the reasons why people quit a job is a disconnect with the company culture, travel/commute, leadership and/or direction of the organization or upward mobility. Counter offers may provide the worker with more money, a new title and even more responsibility. In almost every case however, the main reason a person has decided to seek a new job cannot be resolved by a counter offer.

Once a counter offer is accepted, the joy of receiving the bump in pay or that promotion that has been promised for so long can sooth the pain of the real issue…for a time. As the “honeymoon” phase of this new situation dissipates, the real issues surface once again causing the worker to venture out into the marketplace to seek new employment…this time to get away from the true problem with the job.

The number one reason an employer will make a counter offer:

The hiring manager is caught off guard and cannot afford to have a business channel slow down while a replacement worker is sourced, hiring, trained and brought up to speed.

Counter offers are bad news because the worker now has a target on his or her back. The company now knows the person is unhappy and will most likely find a new job in the next 6 months…except now the company has time to prepare for the worker’s exodus.

All too often a person will accept a counter offer, be told they have an avenue for promotional opportunities as soon as they hire the replacement and train them…next thing you know the worker has trained his or her replacement with no real next step defined. Effectively that worker can now be released without a detriment to the functions of the business. Additionally the company that extended the original offer and was spurned by the counter offer is no longer interested in the worker.

People should realize that leaving a company is common in today’s work world, everyone leaves. Thinking about the people who will let down, projects that will go unfinished, leaving a boss “hanging”, the fear of change…all of these items become reasons for people to decide to accept a counter offer.

When a person gets a good job offer they should treat it like pulling off a bandage. Give 2 weeks notice, thank the company for the opportunity and the counter offer, decline and start the new job. We recommend our students not set themselves up for disappointment when the things that were wrong and caused them to want leave in the first place are not resolved by a counter offer.