When counter offers backfire

Wouldn’t it be great if there was nothing you wanted to change about your job?  Most of us would change something – whether it is salary or working conditions or getting that promotion that we deserve.  Working in IT recruitment we often encounter candidates that become dissatisfied with their roles and start to wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else.  Some will feel that if they demonstrate to their employer that another company will offer them all the things that they haven’t been forthcoming with, their employer will meet their demands and there will be no need for them to change jobs.

Counter offers

Needless to say, it doesn’t always go as planned.  Using an offer of employment from another company to improve your situation in your current role is a very risky strategy.  For one thing, it involves admitting to your employer that you have been attending interviews elsewhere – and this changes your relationship with them.  If you stay, they will always have doubts about your loyalty and commitment to them when the going gets tough.  So even if you are 100% confident that your employer will give you the counter offer that you want, you need to also understand that they will be watching you closely from now on – you’ve just become a very expensive resource for them, and could well be first out the door if they decide they are spending too much.

Remember also that just because your employer hastily says they will meet your demands doesn’t mean they will.  Recruiting for your replacement will be a hassle for them so they might perceive that it would be easier to promise you a pay rise or a promotion in order to ensure that you don’t actually accept the other role.  Experience has taught us that unfortunately promises are rarely kept in counter offer situations – nine out of ten times we’ll see the candidate’s CV back on the job boards within a matter of months because they took the counter offer from their employer only to realise that the fundamental things that were bugging them before haven’t changed.

And finally, how confident are you that you’re going to get that counter offer?  Don’t ever assume that you are irreplaceable.  You might end up taking that new role after all – and it could be the best thing that ever happened to you!

If your job isn’t meeting your expectations, talk to someone in the business that can help.  It could be that they hadn’t realised you were unhappy and will immediately fix the problem.  And if it can’t be fixed then the grass probably is greener – so try something else.