So, you've received another job offer, told your existing employer and they have counter offered you! So what should you do?

NB:T his is a direct transcript of a  section of a recent podcast from The Recruiting & Career Podcast we ran so please excuse any typos.

Now it could very well be that the offer being made by the new company still outweighs in every aspect, the counter offer. It could be that the relationship with your existing manager is so bad that you're still going to go for the new offer. But if there's any element of doubt, we think there's a seven stage process really, or seven considerations, which you need to look at.


Step 1 - "Right, think what are my options?

So I stay where I am. This is a new package. This is what it will mean for me. This is how it will help my career development.

Alternatively, I move, this is the package, this is what it will mean for my career development.

Knowing that, obviously, whichever one you accept, you're almost certainly burning your bridges with the other one.


Step 2 - Will accepting make you happy?

Now this is more geared towards accepting the counter offer. Will that make you happy?

There could potentially be an element of a salary increase and an element of increased responsibilities, but is that going to make you happy? Because we always talk about gut feel, don't we? And although accepting the new offer, you're going into the unknown, it's thinking with your gut feel, really, on that one.


Step 3 - Trust issues of accepting the counter offer 

Potentially what will your existing employer, who have you accepted the counter offer with, think? How will it be viewed by them? They are offering you more money. They're offering you potentially additional responsibilities maybe, but will this impact your future development with them? Because if they were completely unaware of you looking, it does breach trust issues potentially.

Are they going to, every time you come in a new suit/ dress, come in 15 minutes late because your train was late, ask for time off because of dental or doctor's appointments, think "I wonder if they're looking again for a new role?".

It's just what seed that sows and how that potentially can impact your development with the company going forward. I'm sure it'll be all sweetness and light in the first few weeks, but how does it manifest itself after that initial time period? It's a difficult one to know, and you're looking into the future with that, but it's something to bear in mind because you have essentially breached the trust of your employer employee relationship by going off on the sly and interviewing for a new role, which people do take very personally.


Step 4 - Do they really want me to stay?

This delayed recognition, was it going to happen? Maybe they've told you that they were thinking about it anyway, possibly, so maybe they were always going to do it. Or is it a stalling tactic by your employer?

There are massive costs involved with staff leaving and joining an organization. Are they looking at this from the perspective of you being a good safe pair of hands and by them offering you a few thousand pounds more, it's a damn sight cheaper than training a new employee from scratch.

They've also got to think about will this impact targets being met within your department? Will it impact other members of staff if you're part of a tight team. You leave, other members of that team think, "Oh, maybe I might look. They've got a nice new role with a pay increase. Maybe I might look and see what's out there." Will it have that wobble effect? The costs of recruiting can be high and it can take up a lot of time and there's no guarantees. So keeping your staff from an employer's perspective is beneficial. So that's what you've got to think of with that.


Serious about Your Career? 

Download our Career Development Plan


Step 5 - Could this counter offer hinder future career development?

You may have a counter offer and have got a really nice pay rise from them and think, "Oh, that's better than this other offer and I really like that." But is that a pay rise...

Have you now simply become overpaid for the role you're doing just because they want to keep you, and will that subsequently impact you when you're looking at other roles in the future? Have they almost trapped you by overpaying you your worth in the marketplace? So could that hinder your career development by having an increased salary at this point in your career?

Now it sounds daft, doesn't it? Everyone would like a larger salary, but it's worth bearing in mind that if you're overpaid it can hinder you looking elsewhere. So have a think to the long term.


Step 6 - Will this counter offer motivate you to stay and deliver? 

What are your main motivations? Getting past the flattery, are you going to be motivated to still work for your existing employer?


Step 7 - What are you potentially leaving behind if you don't accept the offer & how could that impact you?

Interesting to note that the stats show that 80% of people who accept counter offers leave within a year to 18 months. It's worth bearing that in mind and that you're not taking something short term for the detriment of your longer term development, which obviously will show forward in the fullness of time. But it's a very, very personal decision. There's no rights or wrongs. It's what suits you, and hopefully this podcast has helped, that by going through the process in a structured fashion, you'll hopefully make the right decision.


Can We Help? 

At Lucy Walker Recruitment, we have been supporting the growth of organisations across the north of England to build high performing commercial teams through a range of  different recruitment solutions and products for over 27 years. To find out more call us on Leeds 0113 367 2880, check out some of our candidate testimonials here.


About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry