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An Employer’s Counteroffer: Too Little, Too Late?

By hire-up in Industry Resources

Lauren Milam

Regional Vice President – West Coast

Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare


April 5, 2022

Why You Should Think Twice About Accepting Your Employer’s Counteroffer When Giving Notice

It is not unusual, especially in today’s market, for employers to offer you more money to stay when presented with the news you are leaving. As tempting as dollars or additional rewards can be, it is important to remember why you chose to consider other options in the first place. This blog will identify ways to remain true to your needs and desires and avoid the temptation of hasty enticements.

When is a counteroffer too late? A counteroffer may be too late if:

  • There is No Room for Growth.

If you have already had conversations with your leader(s) about your desire for growth and nothing actionable came of it, it may be too late for them.

Being upfront with your employer about your career aspirations is important, and it is ideal to have this conversation well before you give up and begin looking for other opportunities. Allow them the opportunity to collaborate with you on a career plan. Share your career goals and ask your leader(s) what you can work on to get there. Based upon their feedback, set goals for yourself, and ask for their support with check-ins on your progress.

However, if you have already done this and there is little movement, that counteroffer might be too little, too late.

  • Your Values Do Not Match with those of the Company.

The idea of a counteroffer may seem tempting. Many would agree that extra cash for a job you know how to do inside and out is ideal. However, if one of the reasons you were looking elsewhere is because your personal values are not in line with that of the company, the money may not be worth sacrificing your integrity. If there are ethical or moral issues at play, those will not go away just because the dollar amount on your paycheck increases. This proves that the counteroffer might be too little, too late.

  • The Company Culture Has Changed since New Leadership, and/ or You Feel Uneasy about the Direction of the Company.

Change can be hard, and it takes time to adjust and accept new ways of doing things. However, if you simply cannot buy into the changes, it is time for you to move along. An offer of more money does not change the fact that you are not on board with the changes long term. In a recent SHRM article, Toxic Culture Top Reasons People Quit, Roy Maurer writes, “having a healthy culture is 10 times more important to employees than pay.” Is that true for you? If so, that counteroffer is too little, too late.

  • You Do Not Feel Respected by your Boss.

The saying, “people don’t quit jobs, they quit people,” is true. If your current work environment is one in which you do not feel respected or valued for your contributions, it is time to find another environment with leaders that do. A counteroffer to work for a boss that does not respect you means that the offer is too little, too late.

Accepting a counteroffer for more money, coincidentally, often comes at a price. Many are faced with this decision at least once in their professional life. Those who end up taking the counteroffer, often realize soon after that the money simply served as a pair of temporary blinders and their core concerns are ever-present. Thomas Davis writes in his Post Grad Survival Guide, “9 out of 10 employees who accept a counteroffer quit within 12 months.”

If the money with a counteroffer is just too good to pass up, and you are willing to overlook the deal-breaking reasons you had when you started looking in the first place…consider this:

Choosing to Accept an Employer’s Counteroffer Can Come with Additional Consequences

  • Your Employer May No Longer Consider You Loyal.

By providing your notice, the cat is out of the bag. They know you were not happy working for them. They may question your loyalty and wonder how much longer you will stay.

  • Their Trust in You May Lessen.

After their initial pleasure in winning you over, an employer may feel some sense of betrayal that you were looking elsewhere.

  • Your Performance Expectations May Change

Given the additional dollars you are making, there may be additional expectations of you, your work, and the number of hours expected from you.

  • Your Coworkers May Feel Cheated

If those working around you catch on that you were quitting and now you are not, they may put two and two together. Resentments can build in workplaces where coworkers interpret preferential treatment.

Bottom Line: Be True to YOU.

No one is going to know what you need to do any better than you do. Stay true to your wants and desires and stick to the course. Do not allow temporary incentives, like a counteroffer, to deter you from a happy and fulfilling career.

Somewhere deep within a counteroffer is an ugly truth, and that is…your employer may value what you can do for them and not want you to leave. However, they also are not interested in doing the work necessary to keep you in a meaningful way, nor are they interested in doing the work to find your replacement. It can be easier to throw money at the problem, rather than any arduous work on their part.

When dealbreakers present themselves and you begin to look for another opportunity, do not lose sight of your WHY. Why were you looking in the first place? What is most important to you?

If offered a new opportunity that seems to fit within the parameters with which you were seeking: more room for growth; a culture more aligned with your personal values; a fun and engaging work environment; a more respectful leader— follow that path! Chances are your future employer is seeing potential in you that your current employer does not see. Step out of your comfort zone and step into getting what you know you need for your professional growth.

Not sure of your next career move? We can help! Call our office to make an appointment with a recruiter. Our team of professionals can assist you with finding an employer that best aligns with your values and a position that complements your expertise. We are connected with the best of the best and employers within a multitude of industries near you.

Let us help you!

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There is no doubt that 2021 brought forth opportunities with which to leverage new and emerging employment trends. Follow the Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services Blog to stay connected with a variety of topics aimed to help support you! Whether you are an active job seeker looking for tips and tricks to land your perfect job or an employer looking to fill a challenging position, we are here to help you HIRE UP!

Toxic Culture Top Reason People Quit (shrm.org)

Why You Should Never Accept a Counteroffer from Your Job | by Thomas Davis | The Post-Grad Survival Guide | Medium

Why You Should Never Accept A Counter Offer When You Resign (forbes.com)


Lauren Milam, Regional Vice President – West-Coast | April 5, 2022

As the Regional Vice President of the West Coast operations, Lauren focuses on the development of each Hire Up team member and office to ensure they have the tools and ability to meet the needs of all the clients and candidates. Lauren’s vast experience in the staffing industry and her passion for people, results, and success is what drives her daily. This experience includes leadership, management, employee development, sales, marketing, recruitment, client retention, and candidate retention.  Her goal is to ensure every client and candidate receives excellent service through every aspect of the process. Lauren would love to speak with you so she can help your business reach new heights.

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