As an executive recruiter, this is a scenario that has come up multiple times in my career: A professional gets a new job offer, accepts, and resigns from their current employer. In turn, the current employer presents a counteroffer as a final strategy to keep the professional on board. I cannot stress enough to my job candidates how costly and damaging accepting a counteroffer can be.
I understand that these offers can be extremely tempting – perhaps you finally feel you’ve received the recognition you deserve from your supervisors, or that it’s simply easier to stay where you are with the new offer package. However, this is very rarely the truth. Having engaged with countless employees both leaving companies and joining new ones, I’ve decided to share my insights.
Here are the top 3 things to consider before accepting a counteroffer:
1. Broken Trust
Regardless of the fact that your current employer wants to keep you, you have broken your trust with them. Your employer is now aware that you are not only discontent with your job, but also that you have taken the steps to look for other opportunities. Business teams value loyalty, so this action will not be forgotten. For the remainder of your time at that company, your desire to leave will be weighed in company decisions regarding your role. This is not a favorable situation to be in…
2. Burned Bridges
It takes a lot of time and money to hire a new employee, so there’s a good chance that the company with which you accepted the new offer will be disappointed when you back out. The employer has already rejected other candidates and might have even started to prepare your work space. Or maybe the company feels they were used by you to gain a better deal with your current employer, which does happen all too often. This will likely leave a bad taste in their mouths and you are practically guaranteed never to be considered by them again.
3. Short-term Fix
Like I said, it takes time and money to search for new employees, hence why your current employer wants to keep you… for now. The first chance that the company has to replace you or discard your role, they likely will. Additionally, the counteroffer perks don’t usually fix the problems you had with the company to begin with anyway. A salary raise or promotion given is typically a raise that you were meant to receive down the road, you are just receiving it early. Therefore, you might find yourself discontent and job searching again within the year.
Too many times have I heard about these scenarios playing out negatively for candidates and, in the end, both involved companies feel slighted. Don’t do this to yourself! Take your time when considering new job opportunities and then stick with your gut when making a decision to take a new position or remain in your current role. Think about why you started looking for a new opportunity in the first place and remember those points as you consider a new offer. If you were approached by a recruiter and weren’t active in a search, I suggest making a pros/cons list before you get to an offer stage to determine if the grass is truly greener on the other side.
As a recruiter familiar with these situations, my role is to help guide you to make the best choice for your career long-term. Our team is here to help you throughout the duration of your job search activities, especially during these final decision moments. Looking for new opportunities in the life science industry? Upload your résumé today!
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