The Counteroffer – Why Accepting One Doesn’t Help You Long Term


To accept the counteroffer or to not accept the counteroffer, that is the question. You’ve gone through a tough job search and come back with an exciting offer. Upon going back to your current employer, you mention the offer 

It could be a few minutes later. It could be a few hours later. It could be the next day. Your current manager (or HR) comes back with an improved position for you with a salary bump, possibly even a retention bonus.  

What do you do? Here’s how to navigate a tricky situation. 

Jump Back to the Start – Why Were You Looking for a New Job? 

There is a very important reason (or reasons) why you were on the job search. Building off that initial frustration, you never called off the job search at any point. You kept applying for jobs. You kept doing phone interviews. You kept going to the in-person interviews. You talked with your references.  

At each of those points, there was an opportunity to call off the job search and stay with the current position. But you didn’t do that. You built off that initial frustration and navigated to receiving the job offer. 

Now you bring that offer back to your current employer, and they sweeten the pot for your current situation. 

A Lack of Trust – Now on Both Sides 

Let’s start from your manager’s perspective. The job search means that you are unhappy with your current situation. It could be with your manager, co-workers, career path, or just the company overall. 

This thought will be going through their mind – “Is the employee just going to chase the highest offer? Will they leave tomorrow if they get a better offer?” 

Managers are human. They can say that they won’t hold it against you, and they may try their best not to, but at the end of the day, they will remember that you were looking around for another job and unhappy with the current situation. 

Now let’s go to your perspective. Again, there’s a reason you were looking for a job. Now, you are getting a salary increase, a new title, new responsibility, retention bonus, or other benefits. 

You are sitting there wondering, “if my current employer could afford that, why did it take a job offer from another company to get them to take action?  

If your employer is uncertain of your loyalty, they may be less likely to put you on long-term or strategic projects or ones where the outcome is mission critical. This treatment can be frustrating when you are looking to advance 

You might get a short-term advancement, but in the long term, it very easily could be the status quo. 

Partner with a Hospitality Recruitment Expert 

Are you looking to take the next step in your hospitality career? Do you need the help of a hospitality recruiter to navigate this tricky situation? Work with a hospitality recruiter you can trust. Our recruiters know the job market and can help you find the right offer. At Horizon Hospitality, we are industry leaders in hospitality management recruiting nationwide. Contact us today!  




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