Should I Accept A Counteroffer?

Posted by Adam Hoffarber on 6/10/21 10:03 AM
Adam Hoffarber
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No. And here is why.

Should I accept a counteroffer

The economy is bouncing back after a crazy year, and the job market shifted overnight. Many talented individuals clung to their jobs for dear life during the pandemic with the strategy to hunker down and make it through the storm. Now, these professionals are ready to move on to greener pastures. Does this sound like you?

After receiving an offer from a new company, keep this in mind:

Recently, we’ve seen a rise in the number of counteroffers offered to candidates as sought-after skills becoming harder to find. As the labor market improves, we expect to see the number and strength of these counteroffers increase.

Should you accept your counteroffer? We believe you should never accept a counteroffer. Here is exactly why.

The majority of candidates who accept a counteroffer (some studies suggest over 90%) either quit their job or are back on the market within a year. Most will leave within the first six months after they’ve accepted a counteroffer.

As you bask in the ego-boosted glow of your counteroffer, we’ll try and explain our reasoning, derived from years of recruitment experience:

Counteroffers can be flattering.

Finally, you’ve grabbed your boss’s attention; after all the years of trying you feel wanted and valued by your employer – at last!

Of course you have. You’re causing them a major headache and the onus is on them to keep you in place until they can hire your replacement.

Here is how the counteroffer benefits them more than you:

  • Hiring costs are expensive. The cost of a bad hire means those costs spiral. Replacing a departing employee probably isn’t in their budget plans right now.
  • Effective hiring takes time. If your company is in the middle of a big project, planning a conference, or is currently submitting a major bid to a potential new client, your resignation letter is a temporary inconvenience - no more than that. If you’re a key part of those projects, it makes your imminent departure all the more inconvenient.
  • Training a new employee can be as time-consuming as the hiring process itself. Again, enticing you to stay until your boss decides on the next step will be the primary aim.
  • Losing a team member may not reflect well on your manager.

How long were they going to wait to raise your pay?

If that’s not enough to stop you in your tracks, consider this; if you are worth this higher salary, why were they waiting for you to quit before they shelled out the cash? The new company saw your worth right away and offered you the salary you deserve.

If you forget all of those reasons and decide to stay, remember:

  • You can no longer be trusted by your employer. Expect to be side-lined on important projects and excluded from crucial meetings.
  • The pay raise you just accepted is the last you will see for a while.
  • You can be bought. Period.
  • It’s taken you waving a resignation letter for your boss to listen to you. Are you with a company that truly values its employees?
  • It’s unlikely the issues that caused you to seek an alternative job in the first place will have disappeared.
  • Your boss will be searching for your replacement immediately.
  • You’ll be top of the list if your company reduces its headcount in the future.
  • If you’ve secured your job through a recruiter, it’s unlikely they will consider you for future positions when you find yourself back on the job market. You’re no longer trustworthy.

In summary

Take it from us, accepting the counteroffer is never a good idea but if you receive one in the near future, remember:


  • Anticipate a counteroffer and prepare your response.
  • Be sure to get the offer in writing.
  • Evaluate it thoroughly – is it more than a simple pay raise? What does it offer for your long-term career prospects?
  • Check whether or not it includes training.
  • Recognize that it’s unlikely you’ll receive another pay rise in the foreseeable future.


  • Be distracted by your ego and the sudden unprecedented attention.
  • Forget your reasons for looking for another job initially. Those reasons won’t go away.
  • Accept the offer instantly – take your time to reflect on it.
  • Believe in the promises made if you’ve heard it all before (and nothing changed then either).
  • Expect a sudden turnaround in company culture and transparency – it won’t happen.

Ask the SkyWater Community

Are you conflicted while you choose between accepting a new job offer or a counteroffer from your current employer? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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