As a recruiting professional, I have seen situations where someone applies for a new position, goes through the interview process, gets an offer, notifies/gives notice to their current employer, and the current employer comes back with a counter offer to get the person to stay. Sometimes, frankly, I have worked with candidates where I questioned if they really wanted to change jobs, or were just trying to get an offer so they could negotiate with their current employer (which is risky, and is not a method I advocate nor support).

Money matters – no doubt. However, there’s some data that says the majority of people who accept a counter offer to stay will not be with their current employer 90 days out. Basically, that means it is prolonging the departure, not negating it.

So what factors should you think about if your current employer counters to get you to stay?

  1. Why were they not willing to give you a promotion and/or raise until you threatened to leave? (Big red flag here.)
  2. Has there been prior discussion around the topic, whether it is a new role or more money, and what was that conversation?
  3. What are the long-term opportunities at both companies, and which is better?
  4. Have you carefully considered the full compensation package, including benefits and job location, versus solely pay to determine which is better for you?
  5. What prompted you to look externally in the first place? If it was more than just pay rate, has anything changed for the better?
  6. Which set of job responsibilities sounds more interesting? Remember, you are going to spend a large percentage of your waking hours at work.
  7. If you threatened to leave, then stay, do you believe they will continue to trust you and treat you fairly, including furthering your growth and development, or will they start looking for your replacement in the meantime?

We all know it takes money to live and pay the bills, and what matters most to one person may not be what matters most to another. That’s where you have to take the time to fully evaluate the situation.

Sure, it’s flattering for them to counter offer you to stay! Who doesn’t want to hear they are important and valued! Just remember – if the employer only gives promotions and/or raises when someone threatens to leave, that’s an indicator they tend to not value their employees, which is a big factor to consider when making the decision.

After all, you started looking for a reason.

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