Getting ready for the dreaded counteroffer

February 6, 2020

You just received an offer for a new job – congratulations! Most of the hard work is behind you, but there is still one last thing that makes you nervous: resigning from your current job. What makes matters worse, your employer may counteroffer.


While its impact is still up for debate, counteroffers are a definite part of corporate life today. Statistics show most people who accept a counteroffer end up leaving their job within a year anyway as the factors that motivated them to move remain. 


As a legal recruitment consultant, I work closely with my candidates in managing counteroffers. Below are two considerations to keep in mind when you’re gearing up for the dreaded counteroffer.


Remember why you’re moving


First, I work with my candidates to determine their motivations behind making a move. To do so, I often ask them the following questions:


  • What do you look for in a firm, company or employer?
  • What are your career goals for the upcoming year? And beyond?
  • Why are you looking for a new role?
  • What appeals to you about this opportunity?


I use these questions to check-in with my candidate. It keeps them grounded and reminds them why they were pursuing a job with another firm or company in the first place.


Remember what the new role is offering


Second, keep in mind what the new role is offering. Aside from salary, consider what the new position offers:

  • Better career progression
  • Opportunities for professional development 
  • Project variety
  • Training initiatives
  • Childcare, healthcare or pension schemes
  • Flexible working hours
  • Ability to travel 


Counteroffers are stressful for all parties — managing partners and managers/HR know there’s intense competition for legal talent and well-intentioned lawyers suddenly finding themselves tempted by a strong counteroffer. Generally, your employer will not expect an immediate response to a counteroffer and will give you time to think. 


Take a step back and objectively look at what is best for you and your career goals before responding to a counteroffer. Reiterate your reasons for leaving and what you look forward to in your next role. Keep in mind, you may run the risk of creating a stressful work environment by accepting a counteroffer since your employer may anticipate you moving.


Ask yourself: is your current employer promising enough? Ultimately it is up to you, but your recruiter will be there to support you and help you navigate the resignation process. 


If you’re interested in exploring your legal career options, contact us for a confidential discussion today.


Jordan Priest, Recruitment Associate

647.484.8314 / 403.444.1760

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