The Counter Offer – by Amanda M.

If you are a current job seeker and are employed, you have been dreaming of the day you get an offer.  You will finally get the opportunity to make a fresh start and face new challenges.  What people don’t often think about is their boss making a last ditch effort to retain them and receiving a counter offer.  How do you handle this situation?


It’s incredibly flattering to be recognized as a valuable asset to your employer and see others scrambling to construct any kind of incentive that will make you want to stay.  Business Week states that their analysis, over the years, predicts that more than 50% of people who accept counter offers are no longer with the company after 6 months.  There are many reasons for this: (1) the reasons why you were looking in the first place were never resolved, (2) lack of trust, and (3) the counter offer was a short-term fix.


My role in OSD is to scout for passive talent that is not actively applying to jobs, and I always ask the question, “What makes you want to consider opportunities outside of your current employer?  Why Bing?”  When money is the first and only answer it makes me hesitant.  At Microsoft we want people who are passionate about their work.  Our compensation philosophy is designed to attract these people.


Have the tough conversations with your boss and figure out what it is you want in your career.  If you receive a counter offer, ask yourself if your company has addressed all of the items that surfaced.  We are most happy when we are doing meaningful work that we love.  Find out what that is and make it happen.  I’m fortunate at Microsoft because I do meaningful work every day.


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