You feel a sense of relief! You’ve been offered a great new job and gone through the stress of handing in your resignation.  THEN your current employer makes an offer to entice you to stay.  It could be:

  • a pay rise
  • a promotion
  • promises to deal with the reasons you resigned

At this point it’s important to take a step back and think objectively!


There are a few reasons why they may have done this:

  • It’s a convenient, low-cost way of keeping you happy.
  • There’s often a lack of good talent around, so it’s easier and more cost effective for them to keep you.
  • They are all too aware of the unfavourable statistics of counteroffers, BUT it’s buys them enough time to look for a replacement / back up plan.
  • They don’t want the hassle of finding your replacement.
  • If your new job is with a direct competitor, there could be the fear factor that you will take business, information or other staff with you.


It’s important, before making your decision, to look at the pros and cons of staying with your current employer, just as you would when accepting a job offer from a new company:

  • What were my reasons for looking for a new job in the first place?
  • Are these issues/concerns ones that could be resolved with a bigger salary/change in job title/promise of more responsibility etc.?
  • Why did they wait until I was walking out of the door to make the offer?
  • Why do they want me to stay?
  • My manager knows I was prepared to leave – how will this affect the trust between us?
  • Which company will I add more value to?
  • Which position will be best for my overall career?
  • Will accepting the counteroffer be detrimental to my career progression in the long term?


The statistics aren’t great!  Accepting counteroffers generally doesn’t work out well in the long run.  The below statistics emphasise just how short term the solution of accepting a counteroffer can be:

50% of resignations are met with counteroffers

50% of employees that accept counter offers are actively job searching within 60 days

57% of counteroffers are accepted

80% of employees that accepted counter offers leave after 6 months and 90% of employees leave after 12 months

(Figures taken from eclipse software 2018

There are often a multitude of reasons why people look for a new role and, for most cases, the novelty of an increased salary and the promise of more responsibility wears off VERY quickly.

The main reason being that the underlying issues that led to people looking for a new job in the first place, are never actually addressed.


Once you’ve done your research, weighed up the pros and cons and worked out which role you want to accept, it’s time to let the company know.

Turning down your current employer:

  • Reiterate how much you’ve enjoyed working with them.
  • Thank them for their support and their offer, but you are going to stick with your decision to resign and accept the new opportunity.
  • Stay firm but positive, to avoid burning bridges with them.

Turning down the new opportunity you have already accepted:

  • Make sure you are 100% certain you do not want the job. Once you turn down a job you previously accepted, there is no going back.
  • Let the recruitment agency know by phone, because it allows you to explain yourself more clearly and increases your chances of maintaining a positive relationship with them.
  • Follow up the conversation with an email confirming your conversation that they can forward to the employer.
  • In the email thank the employer for the opportunity to meet and learn about the company. If there was anything you liked about the company, say so. Explain that turning down the job was a hard decision.

You don’t want to burn bridges with the employer—you never know, you might want to work with them in the future.