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Counter Offer

When a company makes you a counter offer it is often flattering and it always looks attractive, but they are not really doing you a favour. They are watching their own backs.

Often you will find (especially in a skills short market) that employers make counteroffers in order to retain staff – they are actually being selfish, because if you resign, they need to pay a recruitment company a placement fee to get a candidate that matches your skills and qualifications, and spend a huge amount of time and energy to train that new person to know what you know.  In other words giving you an R 1 000 or R2 000 more would save them a lot of time and energy sourcing a new candidate.
Here are a few things to consider:

It is going to cost an employer less to make you a counter offer than it will cost to go through the recruitment process and time to find a suitable replacement for you.

  1. Making a counter offer immediately satisfies their need to have the skill in the company and they can rest easy. That’s why they do it.


  1. Once you’ve accepted a counter offer you might as well kick yourself there and then…things will never be the same…you will be watched like a hawk, your job description might change but at the end of the day when push comes to shove you will end up back in jour old routine.
  1. Your salary might increase but when it’s time for the next annual increases you might not get a salary increase.


  1. They might give you such a huge increase that they out price you in the market and then no one else will be able to afford you.
  1. Your skills, qualifications and years’ experience won’t match your salary package.


  1. Before you realize it, you will be training a new recruit because you’ve been “promoted” after accepting a counter offer – in fact you are training your own replacement.
  1. A year from then you will only still be in the same position doing the same work and getting no further market exposure.

REMEMBER: Everyone is replaceable, it just depends on the length of time and effort it is to take to replace you – with a counter offer it’s effortless and immediate.
Point to think about:  Do you really want to work for an employer that only sees your potential and your worth once you hand in a resignation?
What happens when you take a counter offer?

The raise you receive with a counter offer is often higher than your raise would have been. What happens next is that your company might not give you another raise in a while because you’re still earning above what you are really worth.

They lose trust in you and future promotions might slip you by, because they are not sure when you might hand in your next resignation. This implies that you might not be selected for any promotions ever.

A year from then you will still not have grown in your experience and you are earning an exuberant amount, which makes you unattractive to prospective employers. So your experience does not match your worth.   Your company has out priced you in the market.

Statistics have shown that the larger parts of employees who have taken counter offers are back in the market after only three months.
This puts those candidates in a difficult situation. Their salaries are above the market value and this causes their options to diminish.

Also, your boss already knows that you want to leave and they don’t expect you to stay much longer, so while you are doing the work they need to get done and saying goodbye to excellent job opportunities because you have dollar signs in your eyes, your boss is sitting and going through resume’s, conducting interviews and selecting the person who will replace you in the long run.

By taking a counter offer, you are placing yourself out of the market, buying your company time to replace you and giving up on good growth opportunities elsewhere.