What Company Secretaries need to know about Counter-Offers.



You have just landed your next career move and the moment has come to hand in your resignation. This is never an easy thing to do. You have probably enjoyed your job and you may well feel awkward and guilty about resigning. You will be leaving behind your colleagues and the company that has helped you learn and grow professionally.


It is worth being prepared for what might happen.


Without a doubt, your current employer will be sorry to see you go. You have become a valuable resource in the team with a large pool of knowledge and your boss may well attempt to keep you with a counter-offer.

We have noticed an increase in counter-offers recently, as the market is short on good candidates and companies are keen to retain their existing staff.  Replacing staff can be difficult and expensive and it will take a while for your replacement to get to the level that you are at, it can also be unsettling for other team members when a colleague leaves.


Counter-offers can come in the following ways:

  • “We were looking at promoting you in the next few months …”
  • “You are due a pay review, we will match (or better) your new offer…”
  • “Don’t rush into any decision, have a think about it and we can discuss it in more detail later this week …”

Naturally it is flattering that your current employer is reluctant to see you go and changing jobs is always a little daunting, but beware, most counter-offers never work out in the long-term and you could find yourself looking for a new job again just a few months down the line.


Consider the reasons that counter-offers rarely work:

  • You decided that your current employer did not fulfil your need to develop your career and the new role offered you this progression. Will the situation really improve just because you said you were leaving?
  • The culture and structure of the company will remain unchanged.
  • Your loyalty and long-term commitment to the company will have been called in to question.
  • You may have secured a pay-rise or greater responsibilities, but how will this affect your future pay rises and promotions?
  • If you were really valued within your company, why are there promises of improvements only when you resigned?
  • What will you need to do next time to secure a promotion or pay-rise?


What should you do?

  • Try to consider the implications objectively and try to avoid the emotional pressures put on you by a sudden counter-offer.
  • Talk to friends, family and business associates.
  • Discuss the situation with any of us at The Core Partnership as we have experience of counter-offers and can offer advice.
  • Ultimately trust your own judgement! You are the best person to consider all the implications and only you know the reasons that you started looking for a new role in the first place and invested a lot of time and effort in the process.

Good luck!


26 January 2015



written by Henrietta Hodgkiss
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