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Counter offers damage reputations

  • Publish Date: Posted about 11 years ago

Since opening our Indonesian office 8 years ago, Monroe Consulting Group has always seen a skills shortage at the high end of the Indonesian job market. This deficit has increased in recent times, as more and more corporations invest in their Indonesian operations. 

The competition for talent has driven local salaries up at a rapid rate and has accelerated the careers of many people, some of whom lack the proven track records and experience to be successful at this level. While this is good news for employees, many companies are feeling the pain of trying to recruit in this market. 

The most worrying trend employers see is the way in which professionals conduct themselves during the recruitment process. Complaints range from turning up late for interviews, cancelling interviews at the last minute, not returning phone calls or emails and providing false salary information. Far worse, however, is a candidate’s willingness to accept counteroffers from their current employer. 

Counteroffers come in many forms and over the years we have heard it all: 

“I have been promised a promotion if I stay” 

“I have been offered more money” 

“The Regional Director spoke to me personally and told me how important I am to the company’s plans” 

“My boss has asked me to stay and finish the project I have been assigned to” 

“My company has refused to accept my resignation” 

“I have a personal responsibility to my boss as he has taken me with him to multiple companies” 

Speaking as somebody with an extensive amount of recruitment experience, I want to make it perfectly clear to anybody reading this article: 


Make no mistake. When a company makes a counteroffer they are doing so because it is in their best interests. They are offered because it is cheaper and easier than going to the market to search for and recruit a replacement. No matter what promises are made at the time or how close you think your relationship is with your boss, the moment you submitted a resignation your ability to progress your career with your current employer stopped. 

Worse still, when somebody accepts a counteroffer they are damaging their professional reputation and limiting their future employment opportunities with potential employers. Choosing to continue the recruitment process and then using an offer of employment to negotiate better pay or gain a promotion with your current employer harms your reputation. The acceptance of a counteroffer creates a negative impression of a person’s level of professionalism and integrity, in what is essentially a small recruitment market, where opinion and information is often shared among industry peers. 

To ensure that individuals protect their reputations throughout the recruitment process, we always encourage people to be open about their motivation for changing positions. If the position is of no interest and a person feels the company or role is not right for them professionally, they should communicate that to the company interviewing them and withdraw from the recruitment process. Companies will respect the decision, appreciate the person for not wasting their valuable time and the door will remain open to future opportunities.