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What to do with a counter offer

What to do with a counter offer

May 22, 2013

By Andy Murray

It’s no secret that the Scottish IT market feels they are in the midst of a major permanent employee skill shortage; attractive tax free offers from overseas, the tightening of UK visa restrictions, a booming contract market with competitive rates – the list goes on. So, it’s no surprise that employers are doing all they can to keep their top talent from going elsewhere. If a key employee has been offered a new job, they may then try to tempt them from leaving with a counter offer.

For recruiters, the possibility of a counter offer for a great candidate keeps us awake at night. It’s a common misconception that we persuade candidates not to take them for fear of missing our slice of the pie, but we really do have our candidates’ best interests at heart. This might sound like pure ‘recruiterspeak’, but seriously, unless your decision to move to a new job is based purely on remuneration, counter offers can be bad news…

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes an employee will look to move on, and this prompts the company to do make adjustments that make a real difference – whether it be a change of job role and responsibilities, team structure, work/life balance etc. – and you know what, that is a good thing. If issues are raised and your employer listens and takes action, then maybe the counter offer is a good move. At the end of the day it’s a judgement call that you have to make.

My advice: If you made the decision to go, embrace change. A new job will offer a new challenge and develop your career. The way I see it is, if you made a conscious decision to move on, staying in the same role for a slightly higher salary, with all the pre-existing reasons that made you want to leave in the first place feels short-sighted. Also, if you’re unsure about where your career is going and are generally unhappy, then communicate this to your manager and find a solution before you choose to look for a new job – often an upfront conversation can have the same effect as a counter offer and may not damage the trust between you and your employer.

Take me back.

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