Counter-offers: Should you stay or should you go?

  • February 19, 2021
shaking hands

Counter-offers: Should you stay or should you go?

After successfully completing the interview process and securing a role with a new business, you’ve been presented with a counter-offer from your current employer. This is very flattering but can leave you with an extremely difficult decision to make. Recruiters will usually tell you it’s a bad move to accept a counter offer, but that’s not always the case…

We’ve put together some pro’s and con’s below.

What does the offer mean to you?

If you’re seeking new employment there is usually an underlying reason, salary, lack of progression, company culture to name a few. Some of these aspects can easily be fixed, such as a higher salary, more flexibility or extra holiday. Equally, others can be harder to mend, such as company culture and progression. When you received the offer did you feel relieved? Or worried? Your gut feel is usually correct but it’s worth taking your time on deciding and discussing with friends and family who will often know the answer better than you do!


Why wasn’t this offered before? Looking for a new role could be a sign that you felt undervalued and unappreciated, but will that change if you stay for a bit more money? If the new role is going to offer you more than just money and the prospects are better long term, you have your answer.


Money definitely talks, however not to the extent where you should put up with toxic culture, a rubbish work life balance or a lack of opportunity. Even if the new employer isn’t able to pay as much as your counter-offer, if they can offer you better progression, training or a healthier culture it could work out better for you in the long term. You should always think about where you want to be in 3 or 5 years’ time. You may be able to earn more now, but that might not improve over time, especially if you’ve had to get another job offer in order to force your company’s hand this time around.


It feels great to receive a counter-offer but usually companies do this at least partly because they know it’s hard and expensive to recruit a replacement, easier to up your salary by a small amount and say all the right things! Accepting could damage your relationship within the business and mean that you’re viewed as disloyal. Only you will know the implications with your employer.

MeetingWhat will you be leaving?

This could be just the gesture you needed from your company to show their appreciation. Perhaps they genuinely didn’t realise they had been overlooking you. If you enjoy the work, like the people and feel there’s long term prospects there for you, maybe you should stay?

Generally, longevity of service with one employer is viewed as a positive by recruiters. Worth bearing in mind if you’ve had lots of perm roles in a short space of time.

Whatever you choose to do, ensure that you don’t burn any bridges and thank whoever you decide to turn down. You never know when you might need those connections in the future. Make sure you take the time to carefully consider your options and keep in mind the aspects that matter to you most. Glassdoor has a great tool that allows you to check the average salary within your job role and expertise and could help you negotiate with your business if you think you’re ready for a pay rise.

If you’re still in the market for a new job, check out our latest marketing jobs here.