Employees leave all the time. Having employees exploring other career opportunities is just the nature of having a business, but these employees and individuals are likely very valuable members of your team. The question is, if they already have an offer in hand, should you present them with a counteroffer?

We’re sharing our thoughts on counteroffers, and should you be giving them?

Look at The Big Picture

If your top-performing employee is indispensable and comes to you with their two-weeks’ notice and a competitive offer from a different company, you might be inclined to counteroffer. It’s important to point out that a counteroffer likely won’t solve all the reasons that employee was searching for a new position in the first place. Employees can choose to leave for a variety of reasons: benefits, salary, PTO or maybe even just a more interesting opportunity. What you’re able to counter is probably only a portion of the equation.

Counteroffers May Upset Internal Equity

Salary information is widely available these days, and employees may feel comfortable sharing salary information with other colleagues. Offering a counteroffer to an employee could potentially upset internal equity, if there are other employees in similar roles who perhaps make less than the countered salary.

The Candidate Might Be One Foot Out the Door

If a candidate has already gone through and applied, interviewed, and tentatively accepted another role – it’s likely they’re already one foot out the door. Providing this candidate with a counteroffer may buy you time, but if the employee is already invested in a new experience, the counteroffer will likely only act as a band aid to the current concerns.

This isn’t to say that there’s never been a situation in which a counteroffer has been the right choice. And there will be those situations. However, if you’re considering a counteroffer, just be aware it’s not always a perfect solution and it’s important to consider the potential pitfalls.

What are your thoughts on counteroffers? Tell us below!