Handling counter offers

Counter offers should be expected as nobody wants to lose their best people. It is much easier for an employer to make a counter offer than to try and find a new person. However, with that said, counter offers are usually made in a moment of panic; once this has subsided, you may find yourself in the firing line.

To help prepare you for what’s to come, here’s a bit of a “heads up” of what you may experience once you hand in your notice…

Utilisation of internal friends

It is fairly common that a business will meet with your closest friends or contact within the business to seek advice on how to keep hold of you.

Appeal to loyalty, greed and vanity

Loyalty: “How could you leave us? You have been with us for 10 years, we gave your first opportunity.”

Greed: “What do we need to offer you to stay?”

Vanity: “Sorry we overlooked you, you are so integral to this business. Let’s try and fix this together.”


When all else fails you may be made an example of. You may be asked to leave site or ostracised for opting to leave the business to better your career.

Things to remember


  • There is a reason you started looking for a new role in the first place and whilst an increase in salary may be a motivator, there are usually other reasons as to why you started the job hunting process.
  • The fact remains that you only received a counter offer as a reaction to handing in your notice.
  • Your employer may simply be making a counter offer as an interim tactic to bridge the gap whilst they look to replace you.
  • You may find your relationship with your employer and even your position in the company may change. Should there be any cutbacks in the future, you could potentially be at the top of the list.
  • Refrain from telling your existing employer what your new employer is offering in terms of salary and benefits as they will use this as a bargaining tool.
  • The likelihood of an agency or new employer considering you again is slim. If you progress all the way through the recruitment process only to accept a counter offer from your current employer, then it would be understandable that they may be wary of considering you again in future.