If You Receive a Counter-Offer – Stay Strong and Just Say “No”


Accepting a Counter-Offer from your current employer, after you have resigned… is high risk!

Companies, when about to lose a critical member of their team, will often present a Counter-Offer. Their aim is simple – to solve their short-term problem.

Don’t get confused, a counter-offer is not designed to fix your long-term issues.

What Exactly is a Counter-Offer?

A Counter-Offer takes place when your current employer, knowing that you wish to resign, provides you with incentives to stay.

Typically this means a pay increase, or a promotion and most certainly nice words.

In essence, you leaving to join a new company causes your current employer a big headache, so they try to keep you.

In Indonesia, Counter-Offers are unfortunately quite common. That’s because for a lot of Executive roles there is still a talent “Supply and Demand” issue.

The supply of top-class professionals is relatively restricted and at the same time demand from companies for that type of person is high. This is especially true for high growth industry sectors.

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” Abraham Maslow

As executive Headhunters when our Candidate is dealing with a Counter-Offer situation, our advice is very clear – say “No Thank You”.

Why is that?

Because based on our years of experience in executive search, we have tracked the careers of thousands of professionals.

We know that accepting a Counter-Offer doesn’t fix any underlying problems.

Counter-Offers are like a Band-Aid.

When companies use a Counter-Offer they are thinking about their corporate needs, not what is best for the professional.

The business is worried about the time required and the cost involved to find a good replacement. Simple.

Statistically, 4 out of 5 people who accept a Counter-Offer when they resign, will leave or be asked to leave their current company within a year.

In summary, accepting a counter-offer is a short-term solution to long-term issues.

The Main Reasons Why People Apply for A New Job

  • Feel stagnant in current role and seek new challenges
  • Wish for further professional development and career growth
  • Believe they are underpaid or under-appreciated at current firm
  • Seeing slow or no career progression, don’t see advancement
  • Bored with the current job scope, feel that every day is the same
  • Believe that there is a “glass ceiling”, it will be hard to advance in current company
  • There is a difficult political culture at work
  • They are not well suited to the corporate culture
  • Have a difficult relationship with their current boss or colleagues
  • Long travel time to their place of work
  • Don’t see family enough. A bad work-life balance

Whatever the reason(s) a professional has for exploring new job opportunities, most of the time the person has already tried to resolve any underlying issues.

Certain things though are of course beyond anyone’s control… And when this happens, people start to look outside and apply for new roles.

10 reasons why You should Say NO to a Counter-Offer

Counter Offer
If you accept – Nothing actually changes at your current firm.

Except maybe your salary or title. The items that led you to apply for new job opportunities in the first place remain the same. Things don’t change overnight.

    Your future employer sees a potential in you that your current firm does not.

Taking on a new hire is high risk. If a new company wishes to bring you on-board, to take that risk and invest in you, why not seize the opportunity?

Great things never come from staying within your comfort zone.

You may feel familiar and comfortable at your current company, but are you satisfied? Often change will bring personal growth and transformation.

    If a Counter-Offer involves a pay-rise, why didn’t it happen before?

If your current employer is suddenly willing to increase your salary, because you “threaten” to resign, then logically speaking they were knowingly underpaying you before.

It likely means no pay-rise next year.

Most companies have salary budgets for each position in their organisation.

If they increase your pay in a Counter-Offer situation… it may mean no / low salary adjustment at your next review. Would you be happy then?

If you accept a Counter-Offer, trust will likely be weakened.

Your Resignation shows that you are willing to move on. Naturally it is interpreted as a “lack of loyalty” by your current employer. They will question if they can count on you.

You will feel “Bought” not “Rewarded”.

People who accept a counter-offer from their current company often end up feeling that they have been “bought” Vs “rewarded”. This dissatisfaction will eventually affect your sense of belonging to the business.

80% of people who accept a Counter-Offer re-start their job search within 3 months.

You may genuinely still do your best for your current employer, but your boss and co-workers may treat you differently. As you have shown a “lack of commitment”.

Top of the list if the company needs to downsize.

If your current company needs to cut costs / remove headcount, your “lack of loyalty” will likely put you at the top of the list for retrenchment.

Counter-Offers are usually just a “delaying tactic” by your current employer.

They give the company time to find a replacement for you, in a timescale that works for them, at a lower salary.

In conclusion, accepting a Counter-Offer is Very High Risk!

Once you have taken the step of accepting a new job opportunity – for very good reasons that you have thought long and hard about – it is important that you stay strong and firm during the resignation process.

You have every right to leave a company and to pursue new personal growth and career objectives.

Remind yourself why you have accepted a new job, all the good reasons.

Don’t let your current boss manipulate you, confuse you or try to now suddenly “reward you”.

It just means that previously you have been under-appreciated.

While you are here, please check This Article which outlines our advice as Indonesia Headhunters on how to Make Good Career Choices.

For Companies looking to Hire Executive Talent in Indonesia please Submit Your Enquiry Here. A Senior Executive Recruiter shall respond within a few hours.

You can also Contact ProCapita Headhunter Indonesia using our Contact Details Here.

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View My Executive Recruiter Bio Here or on Linkedin. And please follow our Company Linkedin Page!

James Umpleby, MD of ProCapita Headhunter Indonesia
James Umpleby, MD of ProCapita Headhunter Indonesia
ProCapita Indonesia