Got a counteroffer? GET IT IN WRITING!

Over my 24 years in recruitment, I’ve witnessed many scenarios where candidates accept counteroffers.

It’s a “quick fix” solution for employers when a key employee resigns, and they often promise the world to keep you.

However, once the resignation is withdrawn, I’ve often seen those promises vanish into thin air.

While I have seen some truly creative and beneficial counteroffers that make sense for the employee to accept (though I always question why your value was only seen upon resignation), candidates must be very cautious. Here’s why:

  1. Verbal Promises are Risky: If the counteroffer isn’t documented, there’s no guarantee that the employer will follow through. Verbal assurances are easily forgotten or dismissed, leaving you in the same situation that made you consider leaving in the first place.
  2. False Sense of Security: Accepting a counteroffer might seem like a relief, but it can be a temporary solution. If your employer only acts when you threaten to leave, it’s worth questioning their genuine appreciation of your value.
  3. Burned Bridges: When you decline a new opportunity for a counteroffer, you risk burning bridges with the potential new employer. That job might not be available later if the counteroffer falls through.
  4. Trust Issues: Returning to a company after resigning can alter the dynamic and trust between you and your employer. They may start questioning your loyalty and commitment, which can impact your future growth.

So, while counteroffers can sometimes work in your favour, it’s crucial to get everything in writing including clearly defined timelines for the changes. This ensures clarity and accountability. If an employer is genuinely keen to keep you, they should have no problem putting their promises on paper.

Remember, your career is a long-term journey. Make decisions that align with your professional goals and personal values, not just short-term fixes.

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