Why accepting a counter-offer may be counterproductive

Picture the scene. You’re fed up in your current job and decide to look around. You find a new opportunity that is fresh and exciting, with the added bonus of more money. Things are looking up. But when you hand in your notice, your boss offers you a hefty pay rise to stay. What do you do? A lot of people succumb to the lure of more cash and turn down the offer they have been made.

Counter offers are nothing new, but are becoming more and more common in a tight job market. That’s because employers would much rather bolster a wage than lose staff and start the recruitment process all over again. Employees may feel that they are getting what they wanted all along – more money and recognition. But the reality is, accepting a counter offer isn’t a long-term solution. Studies have found that 74% of professionals who were offered a pay rise upon handing in their resignation were back looking for a new job within a year.

The reason for this is simple: often it’s more than money that’s making you miserable. An extra couple of hundred pounds a month is rarely enough to alleviate the misery caused by poor management, over-stretched teams and limited career prospects.

While there can be fruitful deals to be had, employees looking to better themselves should think of the end game. If your company is now able to pay you more, why weren’t they doing this before? They must think you’re worth it, so why wait until you’re almost out of the door before giving you what you deserve? This is something that can gnaw away at you further down the line. And, revealing your plan to leave may come back to bite you later as your employer now has cause to question your commitment in the future.

There is also the risk that you will burn your bridges with the prospective employer. Six months or a year down the line, when the problems that originally led you to look for a new job re-surface, there will be one less prospect on the horizon.

When meeting with a new employer, the process usually begins with a series of meetings to establish common ground, mutual interest and an understanding of both parties’ needs, with the role and fit the first priority and the discussion around remuneration coming second.

They are investing time in getting to know you, understanding your professional aspirations and your motivation for moving and showing you what your future could look like. Together, you will build a picture of all that is on offer in the new role which will likely include; the people, the company culture, any meaningful initiatives and the career path that awaits.

That’s why it can be disappointing and a future deterrent for said employer if you succumb to a financial counter offer after having outlined much more than financial considerations throughout the interview process.

In a small place like Guernsey, word gets around. After all, the recruitment process for a business is a costly and time-consuming investment. Hiring and bedding down a successful person, can be an arduous process and one spanning between six and 12 months if you factor in notice periods of up to three months.

A sterling counter offer may flatter and excite you, but my advice would be to stay focused on the reasons you were looking to move in the first place. Being strategic about your career path is our passion at Firstcall. Plan, develop and always hold your ultimate goals in mind. If they weren’t achievable when you started looking elsewhere, will they be now?

For help and advice with your career and future job prospects, contact Marcel on 714634 or email [email protected].

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