When it comes to employee retention, counter offers have become almost the default reaction to an employee letting their current organisation know they are moving on.
Because now more than ever, people are evaluating their roles and what they want next in their career - and organisations are putting their best foot forward in order to secure great talent. The knock-on effect is that it makes competition for candidates fiercer, and businesses realise the cost implications (both time and money) of losing, and replacing, an excellent employee can be significant. So making a counter offer seems like the best - and possibly more cost effective - option.
This all sounds like a good tactic for the business, and similarly why wouldn't an employee feel flattered that they are viewed as important enough to fight for - and usually gain a higher salary to boot? The reality, however, paints a different picture, and in this article we start to delve into why counter offers aren’t the win-win situation they’re made out to be.
Why you shouldn't accept a counter offer (employees)
Let’s consider why people look for new job opportunities. In some instances it’s financial and the ability to make more money or a better salary package elsewhere. In other cases, it might be the work environment, hours, culture, wanting new challenges or career progression, and with the rise in remote working, even the commute can play a part.
If you’re in a position where you’ve dipped your toes in the employment market, been offered a great new role/opportunity, and then been made a counter offer by your current employer, what should you do?
Here are some of the things to consider before accepting, and why it might be better not to:
Why organisations don’t benefit from making a counter offer
Whilst retaining a high-performing employee would be the preferred outcome for organisations; minimising the cost associated with recruiting, keeping top talent in-house, not having any potential downtime until the role is filled etc, in the long-run a counter offer may not play out as hoped. In fact, it is often only a band-aid solution as many employees who accept a counter offer will be back out in the market looking for another opportunity within 6-12 months.
Several other factors that employers should take into consideration before making a counter offer include:
What should organisations do instead?
Instead of relying on a reactive measure such as a counter offer, organisations may do better to take a broader look at reasons their staff are looking to leave in the first place, and get on the front foot by addressing those instead.
Things that might assist in retaining your employees include:
It goes without saying that regardless of whether a counter offer is accepted or declined, it is important that both parties remain professional and respectful. It’s a small world, especially in niche markets such as Cyber Security, and there’s no point burning bridges at either end. Employees need to consider what is in their best interests both personally and for their future career, and employers can use the opportunity to review ways in which to stay competitive in the market for current and future team members.
If you’d like any more information about recruiting or retaining top cyber security talent, or if you’re looking for your next cyber security role, get in touch with the Decipher Bureau team. With offices across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and an experienced team around the world, we’d love to help you out.