News & Insights: Offer stage

Do you accept a counter offer

Do you accept a counter offer

A counter offer is where you hand your notice to your current employer and they come back with their own offer,  just to keep you even though this offer was not on the cards prior to you handing your notice in. What we do find is that the small number of people who do accept a counter offer are often times making a mistake, out of this small number around 90% are then looking for a new job again within 6 months. Sometimes this figure is even higher as the counter offer is only to keep you during a busy period ie Christmas & they will manage you out come the quite period.

So what is the cause of this? Essentially your employer is trying to see if you can be bought out, as a test of your commitment. You’re not actually meant to accept a counter offer, it’s a test in determination and perseverance, your current employer will be happy to see your conviction as it shows how serious you are about the move.

key reasons you wanted to leave

Remind yourself  of the key reasons you wanted to leave in the first place.

Whether that was money or travel, a lack of career progression, undesirable working hours or lacking work life balance. Remind yourself at that counter offer stage of the key reasons you wanted to leave.

Below we’ve listed the key reasons people have left their job in the past, and why they should be remembered in the face of a counter offer.


  • Money
  • Travel
  • Careerprogression
  • Undesirable location
  • Lack of socials


You may even be promised these can be easily worked in if you stay, but remember they’re trying to convince you to stay, if these points were so easy to implement, they’d already be there, right?

When you’ve been given a counter offer, here are 9 subjects worth thinking about, we ask all candidates to do this at this stage:

Trust: If your current employer only offers a counter offer because you submitted your resignation, it shows they may not have been working to resolve the issues or concerns you had previously shared with them. Accepting the counter offer sends a message of mistrust.

Future Opportunities: Accepting a counter offer means you may have limited or no future opportunities to advance within the company, as it has become clear that you are willing to look elsewhere for growth opportunities.

Loyalty: Your decision to leave may have already affected your relationship with your current employer. Accepting a counter offer may worsen this relationship and create doubt about your loyalty to the company.

Company Culture: The reasons you wanted to leave in the first place may still exist, even after a counter offer. The company culture may not align with your personal and professional goals.

Pay and Benefits: Accepting a counter offer may mean short-term financial gains, but salary and benefit increases may be temporary or conditional. It may not worth staying in an environment that creates dissatisfaction or unhappiness.

Long-term Career Goals: A counter offer doesn’t address the long-term factors that may have led you to seek other employment options in the first place, such as lack of career development, negative workplace environment, etc.

Professional Network: Accepting a counter offer may damage professional relationships with potential future employers, as it shows that you may be unreliable and indecisive.

Negative impact on team morale and productivity: Your current employer may give a counter offer to retain you, but it may not fix the impact your departure has on team morale, productivity, and co-worker relationships.

The burned bridge: And finally, a counter offer will almost always lead to burning bridges with your potential future employer. When you tell a prospective employer that you’ve accepted a counter offer to stay at your current job, even weeks after accepting their job offer, you’re giving them the message that you are an uncommitted negotiator who can’t make a decision. It’s almost impossible to get the opportunity back.

Ask yourself one two questions:

1 – your motivators for leaving was at least 3 different things, don’t get blind by a few £’s more.   Remind yourself of your core motivators

2 – why did they wait to now to show you they want you. Any good employer would have regular chats, so you can bring up your motivators.


Please call your recruitment partner as they can help to discuss the options available to you if you’re starting to have doubts about your time with a business. It can sometimes feel like it’s the better option to stay put and tough it out, but in the long run it is often better to move on to something better. We find that 90% of candidates  who do take a counter offer, come back to us within 6 months (in one recent case this was within 10 days!). Counter offers are not always what they seem to be – have a long thin about them


HtE Recruitment News & Insights

This news and insights page has been edited  by  Rick our Director with over 18 years in Recruitment.  HtE Recruitment take no responsibility for this post.


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