In a job market where talent is in short supply and demand is high, it is unsurprising that nearly half of those who resign from their employer are counter-offered and begged to stay, leaving people with the dilemma, “Should I stay, or should I go?” Counter-offers can be very flattering; they can reveal a side of the current employer that was previously not seen, with compliments and promises showered upon the employee in an attempt to retain their services. But if you are faced with this situation, consider the following which might reveal the true motives and facts behind all the flattery, and which could put you in a worse position in the future if you choose to stay:
It is cheaper to keep you then to replace you.
This might sound blunt, but it is a fact. If good people are difficult to find, then replacing them is going to be even harder, and expensive. Whatever salary increment you may be offered, your employer is saving at least three times as much on time, fees and disruption.
Honeymoon periods don't last.
Accepting a counter-offer might have a 'feel good’ period, but as is often the case, the reasons for leaving will soon resurface once the flattery fades away and the ‘uplift’ of a salary rise passes. Our analysis over the years has shown that over 75% of people who accept a counter-offer, regret the decision three months down the line, while the opportunity they were previously going to pursue has long since vanished.
Don't lose sight of your original reasons to move
When considering a counter-offer, think back on what it was that first made you take the decision to move. Was it really just about money? Or title? Or a feeling of lack of progression? These factors are only short-term fixes and in most cases the desire to move stems from a more viceral dissatisfaction than money or position alone.
Watch out for the 'trap'!
Accepting a counter-offer might do you a disservice in the long-term. Any salary increment given now by your current employer, might be clawed back in the future with less generous pay rises. In the worst cases, your prospects could even be impaired if you are seen as a potentially "disloyal" employee. In our experience, most people who accept a counter-offer are disappointed with the outcome in the long-term and dissatisfied with their job, while they could find it harder to explain to a new employer why they are leaving so soon after a promotion or a salary rise.
Remember, the decision is ultimately with you. If he counter-offer really does tick all the boxes and without damaging your longer-term prospects, then it might stack-up; otherwise think beyond the next three months and where you really want to be.