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An unusually buoyant job market has seen recruitment processes moving very fast and candidates receiving multiple job offers within a short time.  While workers benefit from such a tight labour market, attracting skilled labour has become a key concern for businesses as employers face difficulties retaining or hiring new workers.

Normally, we would have viewed these as uncommon events however, these kinds of situations are standard now.  I started my recruitment journey back in 2008 and I’ve never seen a job market quite like this one.

People hand in resignations and look for new jobs when they are not satisfied with their current position. A counteroffer may give hope of better working conditions and salary, but statistics show that this is often not the case. Accepting such an offer may be more of a quick fix than a strategic move. In fact, according to SEEK in an article published in April 2022, 70% of people who accepted a counteroffer left that employer within a year.

If your current employer only offers more money and doesn’t address other concerns, like career progression development, job satisfaction, feeling undervalued or problematic workplace relationships you have with your position, it could be a problem.  Money alone will not sustain someone long term.

A counteroffer can be tempting and is almost always flattering. Does the company value you so much that they can’t bear to see you leave? Are your managers recognising your significant contribution and will pay you more than you thought was possible?

There’s no one who knows your current work situation better than you, so of course ultimately this decision is yours.  But before jumping in to accept a counteroffer, you may want to consider the following:

  • What do you really want for your career? This decision is all about you – not the project, not your team, not your manager. It’s about what YOU want to achieve in your career.
  • Your happiness. You need to carefully think about your original motivations and whether the increase in pay compensates enough to make you happy staying at your current company
  • The value of new opportunities. As commonly said, “there’s no reward in life without risk”.
  • Will things really change? It’s much better to address concerns with your manager proactively, prior to looking for other work.  If the concerns are not addressed at that point, they’re unlikely to be addressed once an offer is on the table.
  • Damaged employer relationships

If you’re perfectly clear about your reasons for leaving, especially the positive reasons, you should be able to resist counteroffers, authentic or otherwise, that are ultimately not in your best interests.

Written by Ivonna Douglas, Senior Recruiter