The Counter Offer Conundrum!

26 March 2019 Adam Lee

Counter Offer Conundrum

​So, you’ve just been offered a brand new opportunity at a new employer. You obviously went through the thought process of deciding why the current role you’re in ISN’T working out, so you’ve bit the bullet, contacted your favourite recruiter, interviewed, loved the sound of a new job/company/opportunity, received an offer, handed in your notice and now you’re faced with your current employer presenting you with a counter offer! What do you do?

There are many different theories and statistics out there suggesting what people should do in this situation. But what I would want to question are your own personal thoughts. Firstly, what I would ask right away is, what were your reasons for originally looking at a new role? This can be anything from money, growth, opportunity, line management, company strategy/values and many more. But I ask that you really focus on what that true reason is. Now, my second question to you would be, has the new role been able to provide you with what you were looking for, and essentially what you felt was missing? If so, it is important to keep these things in mind when being faced with a counter offer.

One thing to take into account when a counter offer has been made to you, is to consider why the company has made you this offer. It is important to question why they haven’t done anything sooner to make you want to stay with the company. Usually, an employer will be under the impression that money may be the main motivator for you. They could throw more money in your direction without changing anything about the role in the hope of avoiding the need to hire and train someone else. The fact is, 80% of people who accept a counter offer end up leaving within six months of accepting this offer. This can simply be due to the fact that the extra money was only a Band-Aid solution or that if part of a counter offer did include additional incentives, such as growth within the role, there was no action taken and the role remained the same.

In the current candidate short market within Product Management and Product Development, 50% of people will receive a counter offer when they resign, so you aren’t alone! There will most likely be trusted colleagues within your company that you can talk to about this offer.. It is however, necessary to consider your future career within the company if you do accept the counter offer. Trust will be lost and the company/line manager may have some concerns that you are no longer 100% committed and may always be on the lookout for a new and better opportunity. You will also need to reflect on the notion of job satisfaction vs. money. The increase in monetary benefits from the counter offer may seem attractive, but will you be stimulated in 6 months’ time and continuing your career trajectory in the direction you had hoped? You should also keep the future of your career with the business in mind if you do accept the counter offer. In the event that job security may decrease or if there is a restructure and the need for redundancies, you may very well be at the top of the list to let go after expressing your desire to leave in the past.

It is essential that you do not only focus on the counter offer – consider what the new role has to offer. You should evaluate what the value in the new role is – does it provide growth and new opportunity? It is also important to assess whether staying in your current role offers the same growth or career development as the new role would? Your new employer obviously values you if they offered you a role, so what else can they offer you that is different to your current employer?

So, when presented with a counter offer, ensure that you consider all options as to WHY the counter offer was made. Don’t just focus on one or two areas, what is it you actually want and need in your next role? Take into consideration your future career development and progression in order to make the best decision for yourself. Weigh up the pros and cons of both decisions and ensure that when you are making the decision that there is little to no room left for any regret.

If you are faced with these types of decisions, then please do not hesitate to get in contact. I am always extremely interested in hearing the different decision-making processes people go through to reach their final decision, and of course, if you are in need of any advice, I am more than happy to share the experience I have!

Adam is a Senior Consultant in the Product Management and Digital areas focusing on Banking, Payments and Insurance. He's known as the Sports Addict and also the in-house DJ, being in charge of the Parity Spotify account. For a confidential discussion with Adam, contact him on 0410 001 635 or