Counteroffer: Should You Accept or Decline?

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Have you ever been in a situation where you come across an enticing job opportunity (especially in the IT field, where recruiters find you attractive), gone through multiple selection rounds, received an offer, informed your current employer of your intention to leave, and then suddenly received an even more appealing counteroffer? What's the right course of action in such a scenario: accept the counteroffer or move on to new horizons? Let's tackle this issue!

In the IT industry, counteroffers are a common occurrence. Finding a replacement for a tech specialist can be costly and challenging. Often, it's more convenient for a company to offer a higher salary or attractive perks to retain an experienced employee than to search for a new specialist on short notice.

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Is accepting a counteroffer the best solution?

At first glance, accepting a counteroffer seems like a win-win solution. The company keeps a proven employee and avoids unnecessary disruptions, while the specialist enjoys a salary bump or improved working conditions without the hassle of changing jobs and teams. It might seem like accepting a counteroffer is the way to go.

However, we believe otherwise. The reality is that in 98% of cases, accepting a counteroffer is a flawed decision. Here's why:
  • 1
    Corrupted Employer Trust
    Accepting a counteroffer can damage your employer's trust in you, potentially putting you at the top of the list for layoffs during challenging times.
  • 2
    Credibility Among Colleagues
    Your colleagues may treat you with suspicion and caution, potentially harming your relationships with the most dedicated team members.
  • 3
    Inevitable Departure
    If you were happy with your current job, why did you consider another offer in the first place? A salary increase can't necessarily address all the issues you faced during your tenure.


We once had a candidate who accepted an offer but later changed their mind due to favourable terms at their current job. Three months later, the same candidate contacted our agency because they had left their company. It’s a clear example of how accepting a counteroffer can lead to a problematic job situation.
If you're satisfied with your current job but desire changes in your working conditions or a raise, have an open conversation with your boss. Announcing your intention to leave and later accepting a counteroffer can be seen as a form of manipulation. We recommend addressing your needs directly with your employer.

We've encountered numerous cases when candidates who received counteroffers initiated conflicts between their current and potential employers. It is complicated, and we often prefer to seek more cooperative candidates to avoid ongoing competition.

Why do employers make counteroffers?

There are several reasons:
  • They can't easily find a replacement within a short timeframe.
  • The process of recruiting and selecting a new employee is time-consuming and costly.
  • The employer may need time to find a suitable replacement.
  • You might be a highly talented and rare specialist whom the manager values.
As we can see, the counteroffer is not necessarily about your skills or qualities. It's often more practical to stop wasting time and initiate the job change process immediately.


Some time ago, we contacted a candidate who initially accepted an offer from a client’s company but later accepted a counteroffer from their current employer. However, their relationship with the company deteriorated, and the specialist now works as a freelancer while actively exploring new opportunities.

So, when should you consider accepting a counteroffer?

Accepting a counteroffer is a reasonable choice if:
  • You're certain that your company values you as a specialist.
  • The counteroffer aligns with your needs.
Additionally, if the company is going through a tough phase, it might be wise to delay your job search until things stabilise, ensuring you don't harm the company further.

In summary

  • 1
    If you value your current position, consider addressing your concerns through a straightforward conversation before contemplating a counteroffer.
  • 2
    Don't accept the counteroffer if you've already decided to leave the company. Repairing the rift in your relationship will be a challenging task.
  • 3
    You may consider the counteroffer if you possess exceptional talents and specialisation that serve as a compelling argument for accepting it. In this case, concerns about betrayal, layoffs, or trust issues are less relevant.

Are you seeking to hire a senior-level specialist? Our team of IT recruiters will find top talent for even the most niche positions. Reach out to us today! Fill out the form. Fill out the form, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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