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Does money talk? Things to consider when making a counter-offer

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You are trying to win the talent war but can barely keep your head above water. In your last ditch effort to win just the latest battle you offer a resigning employee a higher salary to keep them from leaving. They agree and you breathe a sigh of relief – phewww no CVs, interviews, training and more importantly that unicorn that took you months to find isn’t leaving you.

However, according to new research from global staffing firm Robert Half this method serves only as a stop-gap retention strategy for employers and isn’t a long-term career solution for employees. The findings show staff members who accept counter-offers typically end up leaving the company in less than two years.

No matter how much money you offer the truth is employees leave jobs for a range of reasons that often have nothing to do with money.

ALSO READ: Why employees are planning to quit this year

Senior managers across a variety of professional fields, including finance and accounting, technology, legal, advertising and marketing, and human resources, were asked, “Do you ever extend counter-offers to employees to keep them from leaving for another job?” Their responses: Yes 58%, No 42%

Senior managers were also asked, “On average, how long do employees who accept counter-offers remain with your company?” The mean response was 1.7 years.

The primary reasons leaders said they extend counter-offers are to prevent the loss of an employee’s institutional knowledge and to avoid spending time or money hiring a replacement.

“Counter-offers 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 counter-offer, they will likely quit soon afterwards.”

Professionals should avoid these offers, McDonald advised. “Money doesn’t solve everything. If you accept a counter-offer, 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.”

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