Should I consider a counteroffer when resigning?

Asked by
Tim Dixon

Our firm specializes in construction recruitment and over our 40 year history we have first hand knowledge on counteroffers that have been accepted and the consequences of doing so. In almost every case, accepting a counteroffer is NEVER a good idea.

There are countless studies on this very subject which you can research online that typically show that 8 out of 10 people who accept counteroffers end up resigning or being terminated within 12 months (9 out of 10 leave within 18 months). The reasons are many, but typically things rarely change at the office. Frustrating policies and people remain in place. What caused you to consider a move in the first place will likely haunt you again in the near future. You may also find yourself questioning how to best approach your next pay raise or job promotion. The painful question of will you need to resign again to get what you want, or will a pay discussion make the employer feel pressured to accommodate your interests (since you have proven to be willing to resign if necessary) will remain a continuous challenge.

In addition, construction employers rarely forget those who broke loyalty with them when it comes to internal promotions. Employers never like making counteroffers and never forget when they do. Offering and providing candidates who resign a counteroffer pay increase or promotion undermines a firm's reputation and weakens the confidence in loyal employees who aspire to advance their pay and position appropriately.

Your colleagues and subordinates and managers may also resent you for threatening to abandon the team, and for manipulating the system to advance your pay or promotion in bypassing the rules and job advancement protocol they are subject to.