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How to Handle a Counter Offer

As a candidate, we all know about receiving a job offer. You apply for a job, go through the interview process and hope that in the end, they find you to be the best candidate resulting in an offer. But what about when your current employer provides you with a counter offer? What do you do then?

Some companies won’t make a counter offer when you give your notice but you need to be prepared on how to handle it if they do. You may be thinking, “Well, what can I expect?” Expect them to offer you more money, possibly a promotion, title change – the options are endless. But you have to be able to see past what they’re offering you to stay and keep in mind what really caused you to look for new employment in the first place.

If there have been environmental changes in your current workplace, odds are those won’t change just because they gave you a counter offer. Also, there is the possibility that they could make promises that they cannot keep and things go back to the way they were a month or two down the road and then you’re right back where you started. Will your current employer automatically realize your value internally once another company shows interest? Maybe temporarily but odds are those initial factors that pushed you to start looking for new employment will still be an issue. Statistics show that most candidates that accept a counter offer aren’t there six months later.

In the event that you do, after much thought, decide to accept a counter offer, it is of the utmost importance that you get written confirmation that your employer will uphold their end of the bargain. Additionally, there is the possibility that you will lose some credibility within the company as you have shown you are willing to leave. Keep in mind that most reputable companies won’t use the counter offer coercion ploy. They don’t need to as they can retain employees based on their existing policies.


Ryan Campbell
Associate Recruiter
Author of Spicy Richmond