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The Rise of Counter Offers

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We have witnessed a notable increase in the number of counteroffers being made across all sectors, as employers seek to retain their top talent.

As the recruitment market continues to improve in Ireland, the frequency of counteroffers has become a lot more prevalent. Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, professionals in certain sectors were relieved that they simply had a job. Once basic needs were met, people in Ireland were generally happy. However, over the past six to twelve months, people’s attitudes towards their careers have begun to change.

Some professionals have remained in the same role for the past five years or more and have seen no bonus or only minor increases to their basic salary. As the market continues to make a slow recovery, and as companies begin to reinvest in technology, professionals are becoming more confident to seek new challenges and to grow their skills and expertise elsewhere.

We have witnessed a notable increase in the number of counteroffers being made across all sectors, as employers seek to retain their top talent.

Why do employers offer counteroffers?

With both skills and supply shortages evident across many sectors, companies are using many tactics to either hold on to existing staff or attract new staff with the promise of more money, benefits, promotion perks etc. Employers do not want to see their top talent leave their company, especially when people have a particular area of expertise.

What do counteroffers typically look like?

The counteroffer scenario can be quite an uncomfortable situation for both the employee and employer. The employee has verbally accepted an offer from another business and hands in their notice to resign. However, after having accepted this resignation and listened to the employee’s motivations for wanting to leave, the current employer subsequently makes a counteroffer against the prospective new employer.

A counteroffer can include anything from a substantial increase in salary/benefits package to a promotion or a new job title. Sometimes an employer may go so far as to create a completely new role for the employee with the hope of enticing the valuable member of staff to stay with the business.

Disadvantages of counteroffers

If a counteroffer is accepted, trust can become a major testing factor between employee and employer. Employers may question their employees’ motives and doubt their loyalty to the business. Surprisingly, we find that a large percentage of people who accept a counteroffer from their employer return to the job market within twelve months.

Remember a counteroffer is your pay rise for the next 12-18 months and it can cause trust issues with your employer long term. If money is not your motivator to move, and you accept a counter offer by your employer, the same issues will be there in six months’ time and you will be back in the jobs market again.

Should you accept a counteroffer?

When deciding whether to accept a counteroffer, you need to fully understand the ‘real’ reasons for wanting to move.

Ask yourself these questions and consider your answers before contemplating moving jobs:

  1. Why are you here? Why are you looking to move jobs?

  2. Is there anything that would keep you in your current organisation: promotion/new role/pay rise?

  3. Have you discussed career options with your current boss?

  4. Describe your ideal job.

  5. Are there any companies you would like to work for? If so, why?

  6. What do you want out of your career?

  7. What is important to you? Money/work-life balance etc.

  8. What motivates you in a working environment?

  9. What de-motivates you in a working environment?

  10. Is location and/or remote working opportunities important to you?

  11. Where do you want to be in a 2-5 years’ time?

Once a person is fully clear on their main motivations for considering a move in the first instance, counteroffers can become irrelevant.