8 Reasons for Not Accepting a Counter Offer


Don’t wait until the resignation stage to start talking to your candidate about a potential counter offer. Do it right at the beginning of the process, during your first interview with him/her.

This allows you to disqualify the high-risk candidates early – the ones who are unlikely to make a move. It also gives you the opportunity to plant a seed in the candidate’s mind regarding the hidden disadvantages of accepting a counter-offer.

Of course, you will revisit the topic of counter offers once an offer is on the table and you’re preparing your candidate to resign from their current position.  However, if this is the first time you’ve broached the subject, it can come across as self-serving.  Whereas if you’ve talked about it from the start, your argument is more likely to be accepted and internalized.

Here are eight reasons why accepting a counter offer is usually not in the candidate’s best interests.

1.  Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, it is highly probably that you will be back on the job market within 6 months.

2. The underlying reasons that caused you to consider a change are likely to repeat themselves in the future.

3. What kind of company waits until you threaten to resign before they agree to pay you what you’re worth?

4. Where is the money for the counter offer coming from? Could it just be an advance on your next rise? Are you ever likely to get another rise again?

5. Your employer is now aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question.

6. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal, and who was not.

7. When times get tough and your employer makes cutbacks, the people with inflated salaries and a perceived lack of commitment will be the first to go.

8. Your company is likely to being looking for your replacement immediately, in case you decide to resign again.

One more point.  Help your candidate to understand the real reason why employers make counter offers —  it’s far more expedient and cost-effective to increase your salary than to find a replacement.

Much of the power of the counter offer is based on flattery. Your candidate who was leaving because they felt under-valued is finally receiving the money, praise and recognition he/she has been craving.  By taking the time to educate your candidate, based on the information in this article,  you can pre-frame the counter offer so it’s perceived in a less positive light.  Your pre-emptive strike can neutralize the candidate’s current employer’s attempts to persuade them to stay.

What are your thoughts?  Please post your comments and questions below!

About the Author


Mark Whitby is one of the world's leading coaches for the recruitment industry. Since 2001, he has trained over 10,000 recruiters in 34 countries. Mark has helped recruiters to double or triple their billings and owners to increase their team's sales by 67% in 90 days.

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