Accepting a counter-offer

Posted on 20/05/2020 by



All that stress, worry, preparation to pass those gauntlets like interviews have finally paid off and you're on your way to a new career, new challenges, expand your network with new work colleagues, how exciting! Now all you need to do is hand in your resignation, get on your horse and ride into the setting sun, bliss.  But hold on, your manager says what? they don't want to see you leave? they value your contributions? that promise of a promotion is only around the corner? what a nightmare! what do you do?

When I started my career in the recruitment world in the midst of 2012 in Singapore, I asked my senior recruiter, how can I mitigate the counter-offer issue and I was introduced to this statistic that 80% of the candidates who accept a counter-offer will leave in 12 months. It was a known statistic in the industry and I never questioned her advice.

However, after placing numerous candidates for several years myself, there are a few facts I learned when a candidate accepts a counter-offer.  So here are my top tips to help you understand why counteroffers happen and what to think about when making your decision:

  • Have you ever thought about the cost of hire to a business? I'm not only talking about my fee! but just imagine all the knowledge, skills, and experiences you have gained along the way during your time working at your current employer? How long did it take to get to where you are so you can perform your job? Now just imagine the impact on your current employer losing all those skills, experiences, and knowledge? How long will it take to train someone else to your level? how much business will your employer lose whilst training up your new backfill? the direct and sunken cost's are huge, just think about an iceberg.
  • Why? why did you decide to leave in the first place? was it money? if so, then why did your employer not reward you what you deserved in the first place? will you need to hand in your notice every time you need an increment? Was it career advancement? Again, why did you not receive any advancements before? what happened to those promises? or was it work/life balance? How can your employer suddenly change the business culture to meet your needs?
  • Trust and integrity.  This is a fundamental part of any relationship, especially in Asia! do you think your employer will still trust you after you have been searching for better opportunities in the open market, with competitors! do you think that nothing has changed? Once trust and integrity has been damaged, your employer may think that you will be a future flight risk and what do companies do with risk? they have a plan, which usually means in your case that eventually, your days are already numbered.

So before you accept a counter-offer, always ask yourself these questions.

  • Why did you decide to explore the career opportunity in the first place?
  • Have you been completely honest with your recruiter and your potential employer during the interviews?
  • How will you be perceived by your employer who offered you a counter-offer?
  • What will be the future impact on your relationship with the potential new employer in the future if you decided to reject their offer?
Talk with me now on 65898787 or email me directly on to discuss how we can help you make more informed career decisions.