5 Reasons to Decline a Counter Offer


Natalie Wild

5 Reasons to Decline a Counter Offer  

Picture the scene, you’ve hit the job market running, having decided that your current employment is no longer working for your needs. You have successfully passed several interview stages and are the proud recipient of an employment offer for a new and exciting opportunity, you’ve had a potentially awkward conversation with your line manager regarding you leaving your post or maybe have already given in your notice. So, what now?

Most employers accept that resignation happens, are supportive, and may seek to learn from your experience by conducting an exit interview, however some employers are perhaps a little less willing to let go.

It’s something we sadly see only too often. We speak to candidates every day who feel undervalued, unappreciated or burnt out in their current roles, they later successfully gain an employment offer to work with a leading company, to then in turn receive a counter offer from their current employer to stay, whether asked for or voluntarily given.

Though it may seem appealing to accept the counter offer, sticking to what you know and not embrace change, there can be several reasons to decline your counter offer and take that leap of faith.

  1. Your current employer is attempting to cover their back – if you are carrying a high workload, you leaving will potentially have negative financial impact on team or business operations as well as increasing the workload of your colleagues, it can also look bad on the manager if there has been a high team turnover. From a business perspective, its better to try and keep you on board regardless of how you might be feeling until a replacement can be found. ‘The aftermath’ of your departure isn’t your problem, put yourself first.

  2. You have become a risk to your current employer – You have threatened to leave once, it may only be a matter of time before you do it again, and smart companies tend not to allow themselves to be put in that situation. Unfortunately, it is possible that you will not be perceived the same to them once you have threatened to leave but decided to stay. This means that promotions and major projects may not be offered to you as the employer knows you are always likely to have (at least) one eye on leaving.

  3. Any situation that leads to you seeking outside offers is suspect – for example, if money was a strong motivator to you seeking a new role and your counter offer includes a higher salary, you should ask; why has it taken my resignation for them to realise the need to pay me my value? If I’m worth the money now, why wasn’t I 15 minutes ago?

  4. The reasons for you wanting to resign will likely still remain – even if they are temporarily shaded. Cast your mind back to why you wanted to leave, and ask, is it really going to be any different now? 

  5. Quality – well-run companies won’t give counter offers…ever! Put yourself in the employer’s shoes - If an employee states (by providing their resignation) they don’t want to work for your any more, then they should go. Counter offering to keep someone who doesn’t want to be there is a slippery slope, and so isn’t the norm. A counter offer is usually made because of No. 1 and/or No. 2 of this list, not because you’re brilliant at your job.

IF you do get the urge to accept a counter offer, just be prepared for the consequences when they do arise.

Novate IT fully support and respect our candidates when it comes to their decision making, so we’d never be offended if you declined an employment offer made through us, however as genuine Recruitment Consultants we may advise you against accepting a counter offer if in our experience this will be detrimental to your overall career aims.

You can easily view and apply to any of our current live vacancies through our website – www.novate-it.co.uk/job-search