Counteroffers are fairly common when it comes to recruitment, if you are a candidate you may get counter offered as you tender your resignation. As a senior manager or HR representative in a business you will counteroffer to try and keep good talent also. At People HQ we have seen an increase in the number of counteroffers across this past two years. Another sign that the fight for talent is most certainly on!

Here is the thing, counteroffers are very rarely a long term solution. Something in the employment relationship changes. Here are our thoughts on counteroffers.

Counteroffers typically involve a conversation about salary. We all know salary is a short-term motivator. Offering a salary increase to counter a resignation is a ‘too little, too late’.

Employee – As an employee it shouldn’t take a resignation for your company to acknowledge your worth. Do you want to work for an organisation which under-values their staff unless they’re threatened you will leave?

Employer – Employers should take time to review their reward structures and consider how they reward their best talent so that counteroffers are a lesser thing.

Promise of a Promotion or Career Progression
This along with the increase in salary is normally an approach during a counteroffer conversation.

Employee – Depending on how long you have been in your current role and how structured your organisations recruitment processes are will determine how real this opportunity is.

Employer – It is important that your organisations leaders are having the right conversations around career progression. As part of your HR processes be sure to introduce an effective appraisal process (not a tick box once a year) and ensure that your organisation practises fair employment when it comes to recruitment. Do not allow a ‘job for the mates’ culture to take over, the best person should always get the job, or at least have an opportunity to apply for an advertised role.

The Challenge in the role is no longer there

It happens, when we join a business we are highly motivated and have great ideas to add value in our new role. People like to have a challenge, at times, when that challenge is no
longer there, they will start to look for new opportunities.

Employee – As an employee you may feel the challenge in a role has depleted, that’s one of the reasons you have started to look outwards for a new opportunity. If faced with a counteroffer, always go back to your core reason for looking a new opportunity and see if the counteroffers provide this.

Employer – As part of your HR strategy give consideration to how you can challenge your team members. Stretch employees to do more, especially if they are asking for it! Consider projects, cross functional exposure or offer out coaching and mentoring options to help grow their mindset.

Your Manager is buying a little time
A good team member is of great value to their line manager, you help make their job easier, you carry a lot of knowledge, and you get things done.

Employee – If you line manager has a conversation with you around a counteroffer, remember, they want you to stay to help make their job easier. If they are promising A, B, C be sure to have it in writing and follow up on these periodically.

Employer – Employers need to be sure that high performers are getting the exposure they need to move to the next stage in their career. Introduce a succession planning concept as part of your HR strategy and review this regularly and watch your retention levels grow.

Trust in the Employment Relationship is Affected
Whether you think it is factor, trust in the employment relationship will be affected once someone has tendered their resignation and remained post a counteroffer.

Employee – You’ve essentially fired your Manager. You have expressed your desire to leave and your Manager is unlikely to completely trust you again.

Employer – Need to ensure that the employee who has committed to stay is tracked, that there is some form of layered confirmation in place to ensure their Manager is delivering on what they said they would.

In conclusion, at People HQ we feel that counteroffer can be avoided and should it come to play it should be avoided by both parties.

Reach out to People HQ if you need help with you career or if you are a business leader
who needs support with your HR strategy.