Counter Offers…. Should I stay or should I go? Nah Nah Nah Nih Nih Nih Nah Nah


The marketing spin is out, Seek are boasting about how job board advertising is up 13% year on year for them and I’m sure various other media outlets will jump on the bandwagon soon enough. As an internal recruiter I see all day every day the movement in the market, candidates moving from their role on to bigger and better things here in our organisation and elsewhere and the high (or not so high) numbers of candidates in the marketplace.  People cry about the fight for talent. It’s not a fight, it’s a war.  Dig your trenches, it’s going to go on for a lot longer.


As people grow, develop and move on to new roles in places they then face the dreaded resignation from their current employer.  It’s hard for many people but it’s something that needs to be done (and done well).  There are plenty of funny stories on the internet about resignation cakes, songs and poems etc – but if you don’t want to burn your bridges (oh, and you might like a nice reference for future positions) don’t be a dork.  I can say though that the video below is quite amusing…



I’ve had a few doozie resignations myself including:

  • Bawling my eyes out when I met with my manager to resign from my account management  position from a huge FMCG organisation.  She asked me if I really wanted to leave – cue further sobbing and I even gave her a hug. I don’t give hugs FYI.
  • Dropping a plain white envelope on my managers desk with my resignation in it and then working off site for 4 whole days.
  • Resigning from my very first job in a supermarket and being offered a whole $2 more per hour! By the way, that was a 33% pay rise!


When I wrote that list, that last point made me think about counter offers. The good, the bad and should you even consider taking them?  A counter offer is so flattering, so ego stroking and it makes you feel all nice and warm inside.  You think to yourself that they must really want you, heck two jobs want you! Your current employer must have just been so busy they hadn’t noticed just how hard you really do work and you really do matter to them……… don’t kid yourself.


Should you stay or should you go? When considering a counter offer you need to remember:

  1. You are going to really annoy your was-to-be employer. They’ve been through the process with you, met you several times, referenced you, you’ve met the team, they’ve invested their time and planning into you and you are now going to walk away back to your old employer. Most employers wouldn’t consider you again (although some would argue they probably should).
  2. The reasons why you wanted to leave! Was there no support from management? Was the pay poor? Is the culture toxic? Will extra money or a new role they are offering you really make a difference or make it go away?
  3. If you had raised your reasons for leaving with your employer before this time and nothing had been done – what makes you think this time there will be change?
  4. Why did your current employer not realise your value before the counter offer? Are they just trying to keep you on board as replacing you is something they don’t have time for? And when they do have time what might they do…
  5. Your employer will never forget that you once wanted to leave, and you almost did. When that next promotion comes around and the race for it is tight don’t think that they won’t remember.


That’s a lot of things to take into consideration, and more than likely a big pros and cons list with not a lot of pros on it.


My advice? Don’t look back. Move on to bigger and brighter things and relish a new challenge. Statistics online would have you believe that less than 1 in 5 people are still employed by the same employer after 6 months if they take the counter offer.  Sounds pretty much right on target to me.  Ask yourself – are those odds you feel comfortable with?