Accepting a counter offer: counter-productive?

Should a counter offer be seen as sign of how much your organisation values you or is it really a slap in the face?

Receiving a counter offer can be one of the most flattering feelings in the world.

No one would blame you for assuming that the gesture demonstrates that your boss believes you’re a valuable asset to the team that they couldn’t possibly dream of letting go.

But, experts say more often than not this couldn’t be further from the truth, with most recruitment specialists saying that what they’re really doing is buying time for themselves to search for your replacement at their own pace, and this is why you should think twice before accepting an improved offer.

San-Marie Barnard, a principal consultant at executive headhunting firm Jack Hammer says counter offers are actually an insult to you. “People think receiving a counter is an act of appreciation, sadly it’s not. In fact, it’s actually a selfish ‘slap in the face’ to you, your reputation and your career prospects,” Barnard explains.

“True appreciation from your boss looks like this: acknowledgement of your work to date, and a dignified, magnanimous wish of goodwill for the next phase of your career journey, leaving the door open for future engagement and collaboration at some future date.”

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