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The Truth About Counter Offers in Tech

15 November 2017

by Jessica Williams

Among the various roadblocks that come up in a person’s career, counter offers are one of the more challenging to address.

The prevalence of these in the tech world is nothing new, but their continuance demonstrates two things: first, that many businesses believe counter offers are an effective way to retain staff, and second, that employees believe this is evidence of their worth to employers. In reality, the figures tell a very different story…

  • 82.7% of employers look to replace the employee who has accepted their counter
  • 75% of employees look for a new job within 18 months of accepting a counter offer
  • 71.6% of employers trust their staff less after a counter offer
  • 58% of employees don’t get what they were promised

Source: Brightwater

From our own experiences advising candidates on counter offers, we have found that several factors create this kind of working context, where both immediate and ongoing dissatisfaction are rife. These are as follows:

1. Counter offers are reactive rather than proactive

If an employer truly felt you were worth what they were offering, they would have already given it to you. Sometimes, counter offers are superficial actions, designed to keep you in a job so the company doesn’t lose out. Why stay where your full potential isn’t being realised?

2. Counter offers aren’t a dead cert

Some businesses utilise the counter offer as a stalling tactic while they seek out a suitable replacement. Even when this wasn’t the intended aim, what was promised isn’t always delivered. Employers can take 12 months to implement changes, by which point, the damage is already done.

3. Counter offers impact your market value

Monetary incentives can lower your chances of further increments during pay reviews. Your initial salary boost may even affect P&L within the company, potentially to the detriment of your colleagues. In a market where word travels fast, can your reputation really take the hit?

4. Counter offers are a short-term fix

By the point of counter offer, you have already made the decision to move and committed to a search. Stay loyal to your choice, and trust the people you have enlisted to help you find a new opportunity. Accepting a counter offer is merely papering over the cracks.

Counter offers in this market are, more often than not, ineffective, with neither employer nor employee gaining long-term benefit from acceptance. Take a step forward – not back – with OJ Tech.  

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