MORE MONEY, SAME PROBLEMS: Firms That Counter With Higher Salaries to Keep Departing Employees Find that People Leave in Less Than 2 Years Anyway

(Menlo Park, Ca) In the fight to hold onto top talent, many companies are offering higher salaries to workers who announce they’re planning to quit for a better job opportunity. But new research from global staffing firm Robert Half suggests this method serves only as a stop-gap retention strategy for employers and isn’t a long-term career solution for employees.

“We always advise to be careful and considerate when thinking about a counteroffer,”explains Mike Cox Vice President of Permanent Placement in the Los Angeles office for Robert Half . “A counteroffer doesn’t always address the issue of why the employee is leaving. An example is an employee that has been there for 3 years and is looking for their next challenge and may not be retained with a simple salary increase. If the employee accepts the offer, it is usually a short term fix with long term risk.”

The findings show staff members who accept counteroffers typically end up leaving the company in less than two years.

Approximately 5,539 senior managers across a variety of professional fields, including (2,048) finance and accounting, (2,565) technology, (211) legal, (407) advertising and marketing, and (308) human resources, were asked the following questions:

Question: Do you ever extend counteroffers to employees to keep them from leaving for another job?

Yes 58%
No 42%

Question: On average, how long do employees who accept counteroffers remain with your company?”

The mean response: 1.7 years.


Counter offers to employees- RHI
Robert Half International conducted research of 5,539 leaders in March and April 2018.

The primary reasons leaders said they extended counteroffers was to prevent the loss of an employee’s institutional knowledge and to avoid spending time or money hiring a replacement.

“Counteroffers are typically a knee-jerk reaction to broader staffing issues,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “While they may seem like a quick fix for employers, the solution is often temporary. When employees accept a counteroffer, they will likely quit soon afterward.”

Professionals should avoid these offers, McDonald advised. “Money doesn’t solve everything. If you accept a counteroffer, your employer may question your loyalty to the company. And, more importantly, the root causes of why you were looking to leave in the first place may still exist.”


Advice to Individuals Considering a Career Move

Robert Half published the following advice to those  considering a career move:

  • Create a list of reasons for potentially leaving your current job. Ask yourself if the issues can be resolved with help from your manager or employer before giving notice. If you want to work from home one day per week or seek a raise, ask your boss directly instead of pursuing a competing offer.
  • Look within for opportunities. Explore internal career moves or consult your manager to see if there are ways to make your current job more interesting or challenging before you consider quitting.
  • Know the potential consequences of accepting a counteroffer. If you decide to stay, your employer may quickly launch a search for a replacement and your colleagues may resent you if they find out you got a raise. In addition, it’s likely the counteroffer won’t fix the problems that caused you to look for a new job.

To those considering a career move, Cox advises that professionals, “Try to fully understand the reason you are entering the job market. What exactly are you looking to gain for your career move? Whether that is a salary increase, a better commute, or an increase in job responsibilities.”

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