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Why NOT to Accept a Counteroffer

By Kerry Weber, Talent Acquisition Manager at ITP

You’ve given your notice and are preparing to depart your current job. But then your boss comes to you with a handsome counteroffer. Should you take it?

Should you take that counteroffer?

Receiving a counteroffer feels flattering and gratifying. The company obviously values you so much that they’re willing to pay you more – right? More money is certainly attractive, but a counteroffer isn’t going to address the reasons you felt the urge to leave in the first place.

Here are four reasons why I believe you shouldn’t accept a counteroffer.

Counteroffers are Cheaper Than Hiring a Replacement

In many cases, a counteroffer is a cost-saving measure for the company. Filling a position is one of the biggest business expenses employers face. There’s the cost of being without a staff member as well as the expense of paying to source, hire, onboard, and train another person.

When faced with the prospect of having to fill your position, some employers will give you a counteroffer in a last-ditch effort to keep from having to spend the money to hire someone new.

It Doesn’t Solve the Underlying Issues

Think carefully about the reasons you’re leaving your current job. Will more money make those concerns go away?

Were you stagnant in your position with few or no opportunities for advancement? It might feel more comfortable to stay in your familiar role, but will you reach your full career potential?

Is management unresponsive to issues in the workplace impacting you?

Do you have unfavorable working conditions? Perhaps a toxic coworker management refuses to do anything about?

Are you feeling burned out? Overworked? Underappreciated?

If you’re struggling with questions like these, taking the counteroffer will likely only be a short-term fix. Rarely are any of the underlying issues addressed or changed after a counteroffer is accepted.

Your Loyalty Will Be Questioned

When a counteroffer is on the table, the cat is most definitely out of the bag. People now know that you were looking for and came close to taking a new job somewhere else. If you choose to stay at your current company with a counteroffer, your team will wonder if you’re continuing to look for a new job. Your working relationship with your boss and colleagues will be affected.

It’s Too Little, Too Late

If it took you giving your notice for you to finally get a salary raise, who’s to say you won’t keep running into problems getting pay raises in the future?

Unless your company commits to fixing the problems that drove you to look for a new job in the first place, a counteroffer isn’t much of an olive branch.

Leave on Good Terms, But Leave

Counteroffers can be gratifying. But in my opinion, the risks outweigh the rewards. Instead, follow through with your plans to accept your new job.

Of course, be sure to leave your current employer on good terms. That way you leave the door open to return later if you decide that’s your best option.

About the Author

Kerry Weber, ITP's Talent Acquisition Manager

Kerry Weber is ITP’s Talent Acquisition Manager. She has 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry with expertise in sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring candidates for IT, leadership, and operations roles. She can be reached at and on Twitter (@ihirenerds)

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