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Counter offers don't work

Counter offers are proving to be ineffective in retaining employees for the long-term despite being common practice for many New Zealand companies. According to independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half, more than eight in 10 (89 percent) New Zealand CFOs have extended a counter offer while 64 percent of the same CFOs also say that the employee ended up leaving the company.

Source: Counteroffers prove ineffective for long term staff retention: survey | Robert Half

As What to do if employer makes counter offer when you quit explains it's often not in your interest to accept a counter offer from an employer you plan to leave. It turns out it's not a great idea from their point of view either.

As Robert Half explains, most people still end up leaving the company soon after. As many as a quarter are gone in six months and only 14 percent stay for over a year.

Megan Alexander, general manager of Robert Half Australia says:

The reasons why people resign from companies often go far beyond salary. For an employer to offer a higher salary as an incentive to stay with the company often just delays the inevitable. Counter offers rarely prove to be a long-term solution for staff retention.” 

At best, a boss can buy some time to find a replacement with a counter offer.

Instead of making counter offers, Alexander recommends bosses start looking for a replacement immediately. That's good advice.

They should also reflect on why they lost an employee who they thought so highly of, that they attempted to hang on to them. Should that person have been better paid all along? It's often not about money, but getting that wrong is dumb. The cost of hiring, training and integrating someone new will always be more than paying the right amount in the first place.

What if there is some other reason good staff want to quit? This make take some soul searching. Are you asking too much of them, are you or someone else making their lives miserable or difficult?

Counter offers don't work was first posted at

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