Why You Should Never Offer or Accept a Counter Proposal

Joe went looking for a job.  He got it.  He comes to your office and resigns.  You beg him to stay.  He accepts.  You made a mistake.  Why?

What are you going to say when an employee comes to you and asks for a raise and, when you turn him down he says, “I’ve been loyal.  Joe quit and you gave him a raise.  What’s different?  Doesn’t loyalty count?”

Award loyalty.  Don’t cause ill-will.  Keep morale high.

The boss begs you to stay.  You accept.  You made a mistake.  Why?

First, your reputation with the new employer is now in the toilet.  She thinks you were playing games.  She’s angry.  She told people, some of whom probably know you, that you were joining her company.  Now what is she going to tell them about you?

Second, forget about a raise or promotion.  Whatever you were paid to stay is all you are going to get.

Third, if layoffs are necessary, you will be the first out the door.

Fourth, your colleagues will resent you.

Fifth, you will be seen by everyone as disloyal.

There is no good reason to offer or accept a counter offer.  Any short-term gain will be eliminated by long-term loss.  Don’t do it!


Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter, career counselor and business advisor.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, he chairs their Entrepreneurs Network, hosts their weekly podcast – The Voice of Manhattan Business – and serves as an Ambassador.  Visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about the latest questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies.