In such a tight labor market, smart companies make counteroffers. No company wants to spend money replacing talent they already have. There are three different kinds of counteroffers: financial, responsibility, and cultural. Here are some of the best practices for counteroffers.

Financial Counteroffers

If you’re a top performer at your current company, the company will go to great lengths to try to keep you from leaving. They might try to increase your salary to a level that is above what the prospective employer is offering. It is important to consider that a raise is a short-term solution. It is easy for a company to throw money at a problem. It is much harder to address other problems, such as a negative company culture. Another thing to consider is that if you do accept a financial counteroffer, you likely become the person in your role who has the highest salary. If the company ever enters a period of economic downturn or need to cut costs, your position is now likely to be the first one to go.

Responsibility Counteroffers

Another thing your current employer might offer is a promotion or ownership of a high-profile project. What you have to question is why they only started discussing increased responsibilities when your departure was on the table? Does the increase in work also come with a salary increase? Everyone wants to feel valued, but if the company really valued you, they’d offer you opportunities for growth because they want to see you grow, not because they want to save money.

Emotional/Cultural Counteroffers

When desperate, your company will rely on emotion to try to convince you to stay. They may tell you how much everyone at the company loves you, ask you why you’re leaving them, or tell you they can’t survive without you. The reality is that if your coworkers regard you as a true friend, they won’t care what organization you work for. Plus, rarely will losing one employee make or break a company. You have to make the decision that is best for you, not your current coworkers.

Counteroffer Tips

The first tip is to use firm language when you announce your resignation. Make it clear that you intend to leave and aren’t going to change your mind. For example, “I have accepted a new position” is better than “I’ve been considered a job change.” Another tip is to think about your long-term career. Most people who accept financial counteroffer, for instance, end up leaving within a year anyway. Sometimes, a company gives a counteroffer only to give themselves time to find a replacement. Other times, the employee still feels unhappy at the job, usually because money was never the main issue.

Making the decision to switch jobs is never easy. You likely have made good friends at your current job. But if you were actively looking for new opportunities, you weren’t completely happy. If you do find a new opportunity, your company will likely try to keep your from leaving, but in most cases, counteroffers will just stall the inevitable. Within a year, you’ll still probably be out of the company. It’s better in the long-term if you stay firm and depart graciously.

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