Inflation rates are the highest they have been in 40 years, and this has meant that the job market has shifted from being candidate led to client led. Whilst the beginning of this year demonstrated a slowdown in hiring, as we move into Q2 we are seeing the competition for talent heating up and more opportunities opening up in the market. At the end of 2022, a lot of layoffs were made in our sector and adjacent sectors, and as a result, a lot of companies have reduced workforces and are trying to retain the talent they have left. This means that the topic of the “counteroffer” has become increasingly prevalent with three out of five candidates being counter-offered.
Results from our Salary Report published in September last year showed that although most people working in the PropTech industry like where they work, more than half of all those surveyed (52%) are looking for a new job. Amongst the 500 professionals surveyed, the biggest factors that forced people to start their job searches were feeling undervalued at work, their lack of faith in company leadership, and whether or not company culture was a match for them. With this data in mind, it is important to evaluate whether a counteroffer will provide a solution to the initial factors that have pushed you to start your job search, or if it acts as a short-term fix for a longer-term problem.
Deciding whether to accept a counteroffer can be a difficult decision, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your personal circumstances, career goals, and the specifics of the counteroffer. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering accepting a counteroffer.
Why did you decide to look for a new job in the first place?
Consider whether the reasons that led you to start job searching in the first place have been addressed by the counteroffer. For example, if you feel like the company culture was not a match or you are feeling undervalued, a counteroffer will not solve the problem. The underlying issues that prompted you to consider other job opportunities will remain there – things and people don’t change overnight.
Once the dust has settled and the increase has been banked, the old frustrations can quickly come to the forefront. On average, 80% of those who accept counter offers reignite their job search within 3 months, with 9 out of 10 candidates who accept end up leaving their employer within 12 months.
Is the counteroffer in line with your career goals?
Consider whether the counteroffer is aligned with your long-term career aspirations and whether it will help you achieve your goals. Whilst higher pay can be an enticing factor, it is important to ask your employer for a clear roadmap of career progression and growth opportunities if you were to stay.
Your employer may also be concerned that you could leave again in the future, which could make them less likely to invest in your career development or consider you for future opportunities. Although it may be an uncomfortable conversation to have, it will mean that you can sufficiently weigh up the pros and cons of whether the job is in line with your long-term aspirations. Even when counteroffers include incentives that address these, promises are often broken and employees are likely to leave regardless.
Can you trust your current employer?
Consider whether you feel valued and respected by your current employer, and whether they are likely to make additional changes to retain you. If you accept a counteroffer, your employer may view you as someone who was willing to leave the company for a better opportunity, which could lead to a loss of trust or loyalty. Particularly at a time when the economic climate is unstable, your “lack of loyalty” may likely put you at the top of the pile if they are looking to make redundancies.
Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that every situation is different. Some employers may value the loyalty and dedication that you have shown by choosing to stay and may work to retain you by offering additional opportunities or perks. In any case, it’s important to be transparent with your employer about your decision and to communicate openly about your career goals and aspirations.
Will you regret turning down the new opportunity?
Consider whether you will regret not taking the new job opportunity if you decide to stay in your current position. It may be more appealing to remain with your current employer where you feel comfortable and familiar but ask yourself whether you are satisfied with your job, or whether you are considering staying based on the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone.
Data from Seek showed that more than half (59%) of Australians surveyed say their preference for job security has contributed to a reluctance to change roles. Whilst it can be intimidating to start fresh at a new job, if you don’t make that first step, you’ll never know what could have come of it.
Our advice would be to take time and weigh up all your options before accepting a counteroffer, and remember what motivated you to want to move in the first place. With companies being more selective with their hiring and growth off the back of the choppy economic climate, offers are coming far less frequently, but more strategically. If you want advice on how to negotiate a counteroffer, get in touch. Our specialist consultants are here to help you.
LMRE & FifthWall, ‘What its Really Like to Work in PropTech’ (September 2022)
Progressive Recruitment, ‘The truth about counteroffers from a recruiter’s perspective’ (June 2019)
The Guardian, Seek: The new world of work; ‘Should you accept a counter-offer?’ (July 2022)
Wendy Phan, ’10 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Accept a Counter Offer When You Resign’ (November 2018)
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