Accepted a Counter Offer? What were you thinking?

I have been recruiting for a long time. I have seen numerous reasons for people turning down roles:

  • money
  • the role changed
  • didn’t like the environment
  • didn’t like the interviewers
  • I purely didn’t feel it in my gut

All of these are very valid reasons to give the thumbs down.

On the other hand, there are other reasons that people do actually turn down roles which vary from the ridiculous to the purely idiotic.

Location falls somewhere in the middle on this scale as the company has not moved. If you are unsure of location then that’s the first thing you make sure you are satisfied with. Google maps will tell you this distance in seconds.

But 30 miles on a motorway is different to 30 miles on country roads Alan.


Then drive the road once. If you are considering doing this every day then it’s not too much to ask to do it once to see if it’s feasible.

If this or any other similar personal issues are going to be an issue then address these BEFORE you start looking, not at offer stage otherwise, you have wasted everyone’s time and money at this point and more importantly, you have potentially blackened your name on the market. People talk!

OK, OK, the above reasons can possibly be argued away by saying that “I didn’t think” or “I thought all would be OK”, BUT by far, the most ridiculous reason for turning down a role is by getting a counter offer.

I know they say the 83% of Statistics are made up on the spot) but the below are verified and are eye-opening:

  • 80% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their current employer end up leaving within 6 months.
  • 9 out of 10 candidates who accept a counter offer leave their current employer within the twelve-month mark.
  • 50% of candidates that accept counter offers from their current employer are active again within 60 days.


Basically, there are 2 reasons why someone would accept a counter offer:

  1. Money – The eyes open wide when your employer panics and throws more money and promises the sun, moon and the stars. All of these promises will surely solve all of your problems that you had which made you search for a role in the first place and you don’t have to go through the discomfort of changing roles?

Take it from me, these promises are rarely kept and are just knee-jerk reactions by your boss to keep you and your knowledge and their motives are completely self-serving. Also, remember any increase you get, half goes in taxes so are you really that better off? But the most important thing is respect. If you have to get another job in order to get noticed in your current role then you are not respected where you are and in my mind, this is more important than money.

  1. Selfishness – You had no intention of leaving your job and you were using this as a threat to get more money. So basically you are using others to get ahead. This is extremely unprofessional and could very easily backfire. Nobody is indispensable and your employer could very easily call your bluff and accept your resignation.

My last point on the matter, before I explode, as I am obviously enraged by this topic is the damage to YOUR reputation. Ireland is a small place and word gets around. If you have done this once and word gets out then you will struggle to get an interview as employers AND recruiters don’t enjoy having their time wasted.

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