Counteroffer Caution

By Matt Lowney

You just landed a great new position and now you have to tell your current supervisor you are leaving.  This conversation can be made even more difficult if your boss makes a counteroffer in an effort to keep you with the company.  Since most employees leave their jobs because of their direct supervisor, not compensation, providing a counteroffer doesn’t make much sense from the employer’s perspective either.  The employer hasn’t fixed the underlying problem for the employee by just offering him more money.  From the candidate’s perspective you should be very weary of a counteroffer as well.  Why?  Below are some points to consider when presented with a counteroffer.

Most employees leave anyway.  In my experience most employees who accept a counteroffer leave with in 6 months.  Unless money concerns are the number one reason you were looking for a new job, then staying with your current employer hasn’t fixed the problem.  In addition to issues with a supervisor, employees also leave because of the lack of advancement opportunity.  So, if you do accept a counter offer, make sure it is tied to your concerns.  If you are looking for a promotion lay out a plan that will allow you this opportunity.

Why didn’t you get a raise earlier?  From a candidate’s perspective, you have got to ask yourself one question, “If my employer thought my skills were worth more money, why didn’t they pay me before I threatened to leave?”  Do you really want to work for an employer that won’t give you the money you deserve without you giving them an ultimatum?  In most instances, the answer is no. 

If you accept, be careful.  If you have been through the hiring process with another company to the point you have been presented with an offer, then you have put your employer on notice that you are not happy.  So, your employer might to try to find a replacement just in case.  This is another reason why most employees are gone within 6 months—they are forced out.  If you cannot provide a solid reason for interviewing and accepting a position with another company, particularly a competitor, then your employer is left to question your loyalty.  In addition, you’ll probably be put in a position that your every move is watched, particularly the days you take off.  To avoid this persistent concern, you must make sure to ease your boss’s concern about your leaving again in the near future.  A good way to do this is to put in a few extra hours and volunteer for some long-term projects.  You need rebuild the trust you have with your supervisor.

(Can you add a sentence to wrap everything up? You just kind of ended it.)

Matt Lowney is a corporate recruiter, radio host, and career consultant specializing in the areas of healthcare and information technology.  He can be reached at [email protected] for additional information about his services.