Highly skilled candidates are always in demand and the counter-offer can be a factor in retaining them, within their current job role, and many employers will make a counter offer to retain existing employees, often because it’s cheaper and easier than replacing them.

If you’re good and highly skilled, guess what? You’ll get a counter-offer. If you’re applying for jobs, you need to imagine how the process might play out. Be prepared that when you secure a new job expect a counter-offer from your current employer. Throughout the application process you if are currently employed elsewhere, ask yourself the question ‘What would my current employer have to do to keep me?’

If the answer is they couldn’t do a thing then you’ve got nothing to be concerned about. However you’d have to admit if they offered a 5-hour working week and a 50% pay rise you might reconsider.

Think about the motivation for leaving your current role.

You need to have a sounding board, a partner, a friend, or someone you can confide in to discuss your reasons. Ask them for feedback, what are their thoughts. Also write down the pros and cons of leaving a job and what do you have to benefit from leaving and what are you losing.

It’s also important to think about your current benefits and total package so you know how that aligns with your company’s offering.

Know you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Your motivation to leave a job must be based on non-emotional decision making. Yes, you might be leaving some great colleagues and wonderful perks. However if you want progression for example and your company can’t offer it, then leave.

If you have one reason for leaving that can be changed then stop and reconsider, why you want to leave. Check your company know that you have the want and desire to progress, train, earn more money, have flexible working hours………….If they don’t know then how they can change and meet your expectations. 

Searching for a new job can be stressful and making the decision to leave your current job even more stressful. People might consider leaving a job for one of the following reasons:

  • Career change
  • To return to study
  • Career growth
  • Better working conditions
  • Opportunity of the dream job
  • Irreconcilable differences

If you can leave your company when you are at the top of your game, then you can leave with your head held high. Not only that but if you aren’t valued within your current company sometimes the grass can be greener on the other side.

Whenever I have taken a job, I have had to be selfish and realise that I am doing this for me, my family and the future.

My top tip is ‘If you’re unhappy, just do it’. No matter how you analyse it this isn’t going to change. A counter-offer will never include a written contract saying, ‘we hereby declare that you will be happy from this day forth’.

You’ve done all of the above and you still get a counter-offer, what do you do now?

First thing you need to think about ‘have they offered you what you really wanted?’. If the answer is no, reject the offer and move on.

When the answer is yes, then ask yourself the question, why are they offering this to me now? If they knew you wanted those things previously and you’ve never had them before, what’s changed?

You need to ask a great deal of questions, such as what has changed in the last 24 hours? If you’ve been offered a 10% pay rise, how come you were worth 10% less yesterday?

Ultimately the offer they make you won’t change everything and although it may retain you in the short term imagine what a new role could offer you. 

Be aware that some companies will try anything to keep staff on…….especially the good people. 

Don’t play with fire…….you might get burnt!

Some employees feel that by handing in their notice that they will almost automatically be offered a counter-offer. This is not always the case.

I have seen people try this tactic and fail miserably.

Don’t attempt this no matter how smart you think you are. If you want more money or a change in terms, then constructively discuss this with your employer.

I know that for most of my career, I would do whatever I could to try and retain staff if they’d been offered another job.

More recently I have realised that if someone wants to move on, ask them once and if they still want to go………wish them all the best and let them go!