Anyone who has received an offer for a position in the IT sector while already being employed may find that they are given counteroffer from their current employer. Counteroffers are a tactic used by employers to keep an employee from leaving the company and usually come in the form of a pay rise or an increase in benefits.

The best advice for anyone who finds themselves in this situation is to carefully consider the many downfalls of accepting it.

Why employers counteroffer

Employers frequently make counteroffers simply to avoid the cost involved in finding and training a replacement for the employee. It can be worth their while to pay a little more money to the existing employee in order to avoid the disruption that would be caused by their departure.

Negative consequences

Even if the counteroffer is accepted, it is impossible to erase from an employer’s memory that an employee had intended to leave. Some employers will see an employee who ’wanted out’ as a problem once they are aware that the employee is unhappy or may prove disloyal.

The working environment can suddenly become a very uncomfortable place to be. Studies have shown that 90% of those who have accepted a counter offer will leave anyway within six months of doing so. It is important to remember that the problems which had the employee wanting to leave will usually not go away. Very little will actually change and there could well be increased resentment on both sides.

Employers will often question an employee’s loyalty after a counter offer has been accepted. This can have a knock-on effect when it is time to consider promotions, damaging the employee’s prospects in the long run.

Further to this, should cutbacks become necessary, those who have wanted to leave in the past will be the first to go. In this scenario, the job that was offered a few months previously will no longer be available and it will be necessary to begin job-hunting all over again.

Potential problem areas

Another important factor to consider is how the current employer intends to fund the offer that has been made. The rise in salary could just be the next pay rise being given early and when pay review time comes around, the salary may not increase any further.

The question should also be asked why this type of salary or benefits was not being given in the first place. It should not take the threat of resignation for the company to pay fully what an employee is worth.

Accepting a counteroffer comes with many risks and those who have been lucky enough to receive an offer from a new job should follow that route especially when they are dissatisfied in their current employment.