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How to handle a Counter Offer when Leaving your Current Employer

  • Publish Date: Posted 4 months ago

Although the subject of a counter-offer is not a new concept, it is one that many professionals haven't had to consider.

Since the pandemic, the Finance and Accountancy market has experienced fluctuation. From a recruitment boom that led to a talent shortage, to economic upheaval culminating in a reluctance to consider new opportunities, one fact has remained the same: we're still experiencing a candidate-short market.

It's the reason why we are seeing an increasing number of candidates who receive a counter-offer. Businesses are attempting to boost staff retention levels to avoid the need to find a replacement for a role.

But how do you deal with a counter offer from your current employer? Maybe you've been offered a pay rise, additional responsibilities, career growth, or other perks. Whatever it is, it certainly might make you reconsider your decision to leave for another company.

Here's how to handle a counter-offer from your current employer:

Understanding the Counter Offer:

Before deciding on the counter offer, you need to understand the reason your current job has made an offer. Assess the timing; is it significant to you handing in your resignation? What are the reasons why your employer has offered you a better package? How does it differ from your new job offer/your current role?

Understanding the potential reasons for the offer will help you make a decision that's in line with your goals. If you have a strong relationship with your manager, you could consider having an open conversation and asking them what prompted the decision. 

Taking Time and Reflect:

You should never make a decision quickly. Let your manager know that you need time to consider both job opportunities and to reconsider your resignation. If you're working with a recruitment consultant, you should also let them know if you have received any counter-offers as it will slow down the recruitment process and they'll need to manage your prospective employer's expectations. 

Take time to reflect on why you decided to leave your job in the first place. Whether it was due to company culture, a lack of salary increase or promotion, or because you wanted a better work-life balance. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of both opportunities. Compare the job descriptions and think about what drove you to think about leaving your job. Does the new role align more with your career aspirations? What drove you to look for a new job and would you consider leaving again within 12 months anyway?


If you're thinking about accepting the counter-offer, consider having an open and honest conversation with the hiring manager in your new role. Being honest with your prospective employer will help you with deciding whether to accept or not.

It will also help you build a trustful and professional relationship with the employer, and if you are considering accepting the counteroffer, you are leaving yourself in a position where you could revisit that company in the future due to your honesty and transparency. 

Making a Decision:

Overall, the final decision is yours to make. By making sure you handle a counter offer well, keeping all parties informed, and remaining transparent you won't affect your reputation and won't burn your bridges. 

Whether you end up accepting a counter-offer or decide to decline it, you need to choose the path that most aligns with your career aspirations. Always refer back to your reasons for wanting to leave in the first place and don't let a better salary and benefits, or even a promotion affect your decision. 

We often speak to professionals who turn down a new job offer and choose to stay in a role because their current employer offers them an increase in their current salary and current position. However, a counter-offer addresses only surface-level issues and those same candidates end up leaving within a year anyway. This is often due to broken promises, but most often because the decision to resign doesn't rest solely on how much you earn. It's a culmination of work environment, career growth, and the need for a new challenge.

In closing, there are a lot of factors to reflect on when it comes to considering accepting a counter offer. If you're working with a recruiter, keep them informed, and also let the new business know. After all, your future employer may be able to adjust their offer to you.

Ultimately, you want to avoid burning bridges with both your new boss and your current employer. Consider the relationship with your current manager and when it comes to negotiating job offers, you want to be transparent wherever possible and weigh up all reasons for wanting to leave the company.