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What is a Counter Offer? Its Meaning, Pros and Cons


The flagging economy of today makes candidates compete for job offer though there are very less positions available. For this purpose employees decide to stay back in their present job role and organization even though they may not be satisfied.

There are ample job seekers who hunt for a replacement job just by staying in their company. Once they get a new job, they put forward a two week notice and move over to another job. So to avoid such an instance, employers use counter offers to retain back their employees.

Counter Offers Pros Cons

Counter Offer Meaning:

An enticement to stay back in your present role in the present organization is called a counter offer. In simple words, counter offer means when an employee puts forward a notice for resignation, the employer would get to know the value of the employee and views him as an asset. Since the employer does not want to lose the employee, he offers promotion, salary raise perks and lot more in order to sustain the employee within the organization.

When such offers are made, the employee is pushed to an uncomfortable position, where he has to take the decision whether to stay back by accepting a counter offer like promotions and credits or to talk in a polite manner and move forward to another organization.

Like every other aspects, counter offers also have their own pros and cons which is discussed in a deep manner below. Let’s glimpse through the pros and cons of counter offers.

Pros of Counter Offers:

1. For employees who wanted a raise:

There are many employees who are happy with their present role; they can be ones who are satisfied with their jobs and happy to work with their co-workers in the same job environment. For such workers who are looking forward for a pay raise can accept a counter offer. This would be beneficial for them and also make them happy. The employee would gain a fair market value and stay in a company which also offers him more. This is considered as one of the main reasons for many employees to accepting counter offer.

2. Getting value:

For most of the employees, money is not the matter, they need appreciation and valued for the work they do. With a counter offer, the employer who was unaware of the employee would be alert and also offer appreciation which is more than an incentive for the employee.

3. Beneficial for the management side too:

It is a good business for the management when they offer a counter offer letter to the employee. By making a counter offers the organization retains employee and gets work done by them. More over there is no need to recruit or train new employees, the employee can be offered with little extra in order to avoid future losses.

4. They wanted more opportunities and responsibilities:

It is known from many exit interviews that many people leave their job not just for salary rise or enhanced benefits but they look for more opportunities and responsibilities. Many employees stay back and are open for more opportunities and responsibilities by accepting a counter offer.

5. Can play new roles:

When a counter job offer is provided the employee does not play the same old role, but is being provided with a new job role with new challenges to be faced. Employees who are passionate about their job would be enthusiastic enough to work and face new challenges.

6. Can make plans for future career:

By accepting a counter offer, employees can make a perfect progression plan for their career with their employers. They can discuss with the HR or hiring manager regarding their plans.

A successful and long career can be built within the organization and the employee can follow fast track career plans, training programs and other aspects for promotion. Hence with counter offer career progression plans can be made to move forward.

7. Changes can be made in the organization:

An employee may have been working in a horrible work environment with unpleasing colleagues. In such scenario when employees decide to quit from a job, they are offered with a counter offer and the employer also promises to take initiatives in order to make things right. Hence counter offers can be beneficial to set few aspects in an organization to the right way.

8. Interesting work:

By understanding the reason for an employee to quit, the employer’s offers counter offer and provides them interesting work

9. Employee is valued:

When an employer values the employee’s services and thinks that your work is critical for the organization can present him disappointed and upset with the employees new job news. This way he values the employee and provides a counter offer for the employee for skillset. Making a counter offer works most of the time.

10. Employer gives details:

When an employee decides to leave the organization, the employer provides counter offer and makes brief discussions regarding the evaluations and about the future career path.

The employer can offer the employee with more ideas and thoughts about how to get forward in the career path towards success. By providing counter offer, the employer would also show the right path for the employee to keep moving.

11. You’re not a new guy:

By accepting a counter offer, the employee can reap bountiful offers from the organization. Apart from pay enhancement an employee is able to experience cutting edge technology that they have desired for.

There are number of benefits which are gained from accepting a counter offer, the employee gains short working hours, a laptop, special parking space and more.

More over the employee does not have to be a new guy in the office, they have no need to confront fear within as all people around are known. Since the employee is not a new guy he does not lose his seniority, his friends.

Cons of Accepting a Counter Offer:

1. Employee feels unhappy:

An employee may feel unhappy as he may not be treated well in an organization, when such kind of employee accepts a counter offer. It would definitely be a situation where he is paid more in order to stay back in a place where he feels unappreciated and undervalued. This makes the employee unhappy.

2. Doubts loyalty:

When an employee has accepted a new offer and then opting for a counter offer presents that the employee is focused only on financial gain. By this way the employer would doubt and question your loyalty when other new offers also come in.

3. Rifts in relations:

By obtaining a larger pay check, the dynamics of the work would also be enhanced. It is only the employee and the management who knew about the new job offer and counter offer was provided, but later on the news leaks. The employer may have hindrances in trusting you and also there may be drifts in relations with your co-workers.

4. Not a trusted employee:

Suppose an employee tries to move to a direct competitor then your present employer would offer the employee a counter offer in a grudging manner. This is because they doubt and are worried if the employee would leak valuable information to the competitor. This isn’t a good sign for offering a counter offer.

5. Always blamed:

When an employee takes initiative to leave the organization, the managers make up their mind and thinks that it is valuable enough to offer a counter offer. It is also important for employees to remember that they should not view receiving a counter offer as a symbol of confidence.

In any organization if an employee presents his willingness to leave the organization, then he would be blamed when any planned aspect goes wrong. Atlanta executive recruiter Larry Tyler mentions that this is one of the tough stigmas which must be overcome.

6. Can be a career halt:

Career is a huge travel and employees need to explore as they travel. They must be ones who are passionate about their career and get into new roles and duties in order to reach success. But when a counter offer is offered, career adventures are put to an halt for any employee.

Relationship within employees drop and productivity prevails amongst employees. About 70% of employees mentioned that counter offers are to be considered as short term cure for long term issues.

7. Retention tool:

Counter offers can be a practice which helps in earning little respect, but many organizations accept that they follow counter offer as a retention tool.

A survey was conducted and about 60% of managers and recruiters mention that counter offer is not accepted personally.

In the same manner, 90% who has accepted counter offers mentions that they do not like these practices of hikes and promotions just for status quo.

8. Promises are to be made:

It is a natural mindset of the employee that if they get a new job, they can earn more money. In order to retain the employees, employers make promises regarding their promotions and raises. It is really a messy aspect when employers aren’t able to keep up with their promises about employee’s commitment.

9. Organizational cultures doesn’t fit the employee:

Accepting a counter offer can be useless when an employee is not happy with the organization culture. They need to be unhappy and work in the same organization, by being offered with a counter offer.

There are surveys which also mention that about 84% of terminations take place due to the non-sync of culture between the organization and the employee.

10. Can be overlooked at times of promotion:

Employees who are provided with a counter offer to stay back in the organization should make sure that they work with commitment and loyalty. Another drawback which such employees can face is that they may be overlooked at times of promotion.

11. Misunderstanding with would-be employer:

When the employee has decided to accept the job offer, the employee must also remember to consider the new employer who offered a new job. If the employee turns down the new job by accepting counter offer and staying with the previous employer, this may lead to issue when the employee deals with the would-be employer in future. There are chances that the would-be employer may work against the employee.

These are a few pros of counter offers which are offered in an organization for an employee at times of resignation. Since the job market is competitive the employers find it tough to hire technical professionals and hence they do not want their talented employees to leave the organization and hence they provide a counter proposal, if they decide to go.

Top performers are mandatory for an organization and hence they are too retained for the profitability and welfare of the organization. In most of the counter offer cases, the mindset of the employee is changed and he stays back in the organization. All facts regarding staying back in the organization with a counter offer and leaving an organization is mentioned above.

For all employees who are weighing upon the pros and cons whether to stay back or leave the organization, should make a research about the future prospects and in case you stay back, how the employee would be treated. In the same manner if the employee has decided to leave the job, then it would be better if the employee stays back from emotional contacts.

A counter offer is thus beneficial in a number of ways though there may be few hindrances to face. Career improvement can be achieved by either staying in the same organization or moving forward to another organization too.

Employees who are looking forward or gain a counter offer are suggested to make a research and get to know the pros and cons and decide where they stand in an organization. There are also a number of other sources which mention about how to respond to such counter offer, how to deal with the employers and lot more.