Why you shouldn't accept a counteroffer from your employer

Are you considering a counteroffer from your current employer? Let the hiring experts at Beacon Hill explain why you don't need to settle for "safe."

If you're being handed a counteroffer from your existing employer, congratulations! It means you successfully went outside of your comfort zone and found a new role that better served your employment needs. It can be tempting to go back on that progress and accept it, but we don't recommend it.

Let us explain...

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, a whopping 85% of workers are considering switching jobs in 2024. These job seekers are looking for two distinct things – monetary increases and improved work/life balance. This high number of potential defections has employers who are already struggling to recruit and retain uneasy.

Though 57% of employers are in agreement that counteroffers aren't ideal for retention, they are still in play, they endure. After all, 20% of surveyed talent said they would be open to staying if given a counteroffer.

However, another 20% of surveyed workers who received counteroffers left within six months, and a mere 15% of people who accepted them stayed for more than two years.

It may seem like a great deal right now, but will you feel the same way in a few days, months or years?

Your eyes wandered initially ...

Were you unhappy, unfulfilled or just not where you wanted to be when you gave your notice initially? Is the counteroffer attempting to use money to solve those things? It doesn't always work.

Ultimately, you need to ask yourself ... will anything change if you accept? And further, will your boss be willing to put those potential changes in writing? The likelihood is a "no" answer to at least one of those things.

Staying has an impact

Backing down once you've already thrown down the gauntlet may produce a backlash. More specifically, you could be looked at differently after taking a counteroffer by both coworkers and your boss.

You could be seen as a flight risk by your employer and your coworkers will know you received some kind of salary improvement beyond theirs, possibly breeding competitive jealousy. The environment may change and not for the better.

You could bloom elsewhere

It may be that one of the reasons you looked for a new job was because you had hit your growth ceiling at that company or in your specific position. Think about what learning and leadership opportunities may be waiting elsewhere.

If you'd like to see this more actionable, write out a list where you stack what your current employer offers for learning opportunities against your new potential employer's options. If your current employer's list is short or non-existent, that can make it easier as you'll know you'll be making the right decision for your future self.

A bridge may be burned

If you accept the counteroffer, know that the company you didn't choose may not look upon you favorably if you change your mind later on.

Hiring processes are long and difficult. Understandably, once you accept an offer, that company will start getting excited about you joining the team. Throwing proverbial cold water on them after warming them up will leave them feeling ... put out.

How do you feel about it?

Were you jazzed when you got your new offer of employment? Are you as enthusiastic about staying in your current position? No? It's time to go.

Don't you deserve to find the right fit instead of the easy one? If you are interested in finding a better-aligned role but haven't yet met your match, Beacon Hill can help you get there. No counteroffer needed!

Find A Better Role

Related Resources