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Articles > Interviewing & Resignation - 10 Reasons NOT to Accept a Counter Offer
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Interviewing & Resignation - 10 Reasons NOT to Accept a Counter Offer

By James Del Monte, CERS, CPC, JDA Professional Services, Inc.

Studies show that most employees choose to leave a company because of a big problem rather than a little nuisance.  Because there is never a good time for a company to replace an employee, many companies use counter offers as a “quick fix” in order to convince employees to stay.  While it is human nature to resist change, and it may seem like a good opportunity at the time, accepting a counter offer is almost never beneficial for an employee in the long run.  The situation remains that accepting a counter offer will rarely solve the issue that prompted you to seek other employment.  In fact, according to national surveys of employees who accept counter offers, 50 to 80 percent leave within 6 months.(1)  Keep in mind that emotions run high when a resignation is received, and employers may tend to make promises that ultimately prove to be unrealistic.

Reasons companies typically extend a counter offer:
  • Department morale often suffers when employees leave.
  • Employee resignations do not look good on a manager's record.
  • It is cheaper to give you a raise than it would be to recruit a new employee.
  • Projects you were working on will suffer delays because of your departure.
  • Companies want to have a low turnover rate.
  • Companies do not want sensitive or confidential information going to a competitor.
  • Companies do not want skilled professionals going to competitors.
Despite how flattering it might be, as a general rule it is not a good idea to accept a counter offer once you have made it known that you want to resign.  Be advised that your current employer might make you an offer as a temporary solution until they are able to find a more dedicated or cheaper replacement.  Therefore, in most cases accepting a counter offer is simply a way to postpone the inevitable rather than solve the underlying issues.  

10 Reasons NOT to Accept a Counter Offer:

1. A good employer should pay you what you are really worth in the first place.
2. If you must threaten to quit in order to get what you want, the company is probably not worth working for anyway.
3. A small salary increase is an insult considering how much it would cost the company to replace you.
4. Well-managed companies do not make counter offers because their policies are fair, equitable, and based on market conditions.
5. Once you have expressed your disloyalty to the company by threatening to resign, your status as a team player will be questioned, and you will always be considered a flight risk.
6. A counter offer is nothing more than a stall tactic to give the company time to find your replacement.
7. The money for a counter offer usually comes out of your next raise or promotion.
8. The reasons that make you want to leave will not go away.
9. After hearing of your unhappiness, your manager will feel threatened.  This could make for a very uncomfortable work environment in the future.
10. Accepting a counter offer may cause friction between you and your co-workers and could threaten the morale within your work environment.    

The answer is clear. The key to handling a counter offer is to avoid it happening in the first place.

For more information on how to negotiate a better deal with your employer, please click here.  For coaching and advice on writing a resignation letter, click here.  

JDA Professional Services, Inc. is a Houston-based IT staffing firm specializing in the recruitment of strategic-technical to executive-level professionals.  We provide IT staffing solutions through full-time, contract, and project-based placements.  Since 1981, we have been helping companies build great IT departments while helping IT professionals find the right career opportunities.

Through our extensive client base and our ability to navigate the hidden IT job market, JDA can help you find the best opportunities available in the least amount of time.  

JDA is Houston’s #1 Source for IT Jobs & IT Career Information

In addition to being one of the leading providers of IT jobs in Houston, JDA is a top source for information on the local IT employment market.  Be sure to take advantage of all that our website has to offer.  Visit our IT professionals section for a complete list of IT jobs available in the Houston area in addition to helpful information regarding local IT salaries, current industry hiring trends, and proven “best practices” for managing your IT career. For a comprehensive list of industry trade group meetings and seminars occurring in our area, check out the Houston Hi-Tech Event Calendar.

(1) How do with counter offers? Available at

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