Why the Counter-Offer is the Worst Offer You Can Make


Often hiring authorities ask our advice about counter-offers.  At The Bagg Group, we’re not in favour of them and our position is founded on research and experience.

According to the US National Business Employment weekly, 80% of those who accept counter-offers leave or are terminated within six to 12 months. 

 That statistic holds true for the GTA where recruiters have observed that four out of five people who accept inducements to stay nonetheless leave within a year.  Half of those who take the buy-back start a new job search within 90 days.  

The trend now among top employers in the GTA is to avoid counter-offers. These companies say that they treat employees fairly and recognize that there may be those who wish to pursue a job opportunity that better suits their needs.   There are no hurt feelings, recriminations, and certainly no negotiations.

For an employee, to quit or not to quit is almost always a gut-wrenching decision.  We counsel candidates to imagine that they are unemployed and then consider which of the two options -as they are — hold the greatest potential for them, and allows for more engaging, interesting days.   We urge them to go for the job that is right for them.

We understand all the reasons why hiring authorities may be tempted to dangle carrots to retain valued full-time employees.   Managers may be concerned that the employee’s leaving could reflect poorly on them, the timing could be bad, or it may appear easier to keep an employee than replace one.

But the pay-off for the company just isn’t there.   Inevitably, the issues that prompted an employee to look elsewhere will resurface in time.  And when an employee leaves after receiving concessions to stay, there’s a sting of rejection that is not good for managers or their team. 

As well, as soon as an employee states his or her intention to leave, trust is compromised.  At the Bagg Group, we have seen the negative ripple effect when what appears as a show of disloyalty is rewarded with inducements.

If the timing of an employee’s departure is unfortunate, ask yourself whether the timing will ever be right?  

And here’s the number one solution practiced by top employers in the GTA who need a particular project completed:  Contract workers. 

At The Bagg Group, we often parachute in highly-skilled, knowledgeable contract workers to temporarily fill a vacated position, and get the  job done under pressure and on deadline.   

There is always a staffing solution that is preferable to the counteroffer.   The bottom line: counter-offers never help an employee’s career and they never help an employer.  

 The counter-offer is simply a bad offer.  They are a form of arm-twisting on both sides.  And that’s no basis for a long-term productive employer-employee relationship.

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