Betts Recruiting

Get our new Compensation Guide for 2024!

Should You Offer a Counter Offer?

Should you offer a counter offer?

The Betts Team
May 12, 2015

It’s taken years, but finally you’ve built your perfect team. You’re hitting your numbers and everyone is working together like one big happy family. Then it happens…the bomb drops. Your rock-star key player has an offer from another company and wants to leave. Now you have to decide what to do – should you counter offer or not?

As a past Account Manager who consulted Hiring Managers on building successful sales teams, I typically advised my clients to give counter offers sparingly. If you’re faced with making the decision of whether or not to extend a counter offer, I would recommend that you take the following three points into consideration.

  1. You’re only prolonging the inevitable

    A widely quoted survey by the Wall Street Journal reveals that between 80% and 90% of people who have accepted counter offers resign within 6 months anyway, or are terminated between 6 and 12 months. Less than 3% remain with a company longer than 18 months after being presented with a counter offer.

    The team wont be the same

    Loyalty goes a long way in the work place. Once an employee demonstrates their lack of loyalty, they typically lose their status as a team player and eminently become a fidelity risk. A rift is created in the office, and others on the team may start to think about new opportunities or question their place. This can lead to productive discussion, but it’s best if your team has such conversations on a consistent basis instead of when spurred by a departure.

    Typically, not much comes with an offer

    When a company offers a counter offer, not much changes besides salary. If you’re going to give an offer, make sure you know what’s changing with it and what is important to them. Are you simply giving them a little more money, or are you going to restructure their position or benefits? Decide why you want the person to stay and what their value is to the company before extending an offer.

While it can seem like offering a counter offer may lead you down the wrong path, it’s important to treat each situation with care. Learn what you can about why your employee has decided to leave, and take that constructive feedback to heart.

Author: Grace Robson