25.03.2021

Counteroffers: should you take them?

What do you think we are going to say? We are a recruitment agency so it's not going to be in our interests for you to take a counteroffer right? So we are just going to tell you not to take the counteroffer? Wrong.

Counteroffers are something that should be seriously considered and if they are right for you then you should take them. Our role is to help you with your long-term career, we are not just here for the next step. If you get a good counteroffer you should 100% accept it; the difficulty, however, comes from telling the difference between a good and a bad counteroffer. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the time they are not good.

So, what should you think about when you receive a counteroffer?

Why did you start looking at new roles in the first place?

If the sole answer to this question is money, then assessing the strength of a counteroffer is simple. What is the salary they are offering? It's not rocket science, if they get you the money you needed and you were happy at the firm in the first place then it's probably a good idea to stay put. 

However, we generally suggest that if pay is your only concern your first port of call should be your current place of work. It tends not to be good to move purely based on a motivation around pay.

Often, however, there are a number of factors why someone might be looking at new roles. These could include:
  • More responsibility
  • To move into a different area of Risk & Compliance
  • To work in a firm at a different stage of its Risk & Compliance journey in order to be able to add more value
  • To work in a firm with better buy-in to Risk & Compliance from the senior leadership team
  • To move location 
  • To work in a firm with a very different risk profile or risk appetite to get exposure to new issues
Amongst many other reasons. 

Now if these are your motivators, what can your current company do to address these at counteroffer stage?

With some of the reasons listed above, they can do a lot! If you need to change location and they can facilitate that, then great! If anything, it should be easier to move location within the same business than externally, so if this is what you have been looking for and they offer it to you then definitely consider your counteroffer very seriously.

If you are looking for more responsibility and your current firm turns around and offers you the promotion to manager that you had been hoping for, with all the direct reports that come with it, then again, consider this very seriously.

Unfortunately, these situations are rare. When we hear about counteroffers the vast majority of the time they are made up of 2 factors:
  1. A salary increase
  2. Lots of vague promises agreeing to solve all the issues that they haven't tried to solve until you now look like you could genuinely leave the business
Now, if you sincerely believe that these promises will be kept, and will be followed through on, if it is even in their capacity to make these changes, and if it won't put other employees' noses out of joint, then again, definitely consider the counteroffer very carefully.

In our experience, however, these promises rarely become reality and we will hear from candidates six months after accepting a counteroffer who are looking to move again once they realise nothing has really changed.

So in short, should you take a counteroffer seriously? Yes, very! Just make sure you dig into the details and examine the offer seriously, and question whether it is really as likely to get you where you want to be as the new offer of employment you already have on the table.

To discuss a counteroffer or get help with your career plan give us a call on 0207 117 2542, email us on info@ajfoxcompliance.com, or message us on LinkedIn.
Posted by: AJ Fox Compliance