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  • Writer's pictureMalina Ahmad

Should you accept a counter-offer?

You’ve been offered the job of your dreams but your employer has put forth a counter-offer to tempt you to stay. What would you do?

In Malaysia, counter-offers are quite common especially in industries with small talent pools. For employers, this is a tool used to dissuade employees from leaving. It may be in the form of a promotion, higher remuneration package or getting involved in new and more exciting projects, in the hopes that this helps to entice employees to reconsider their resignations.

We put out a survey and asked Malaysian software engineers their opinions. As a result, 80% of them voted NO in accepting the counter-offer while only 5% voted YES! The other remaining 15% voted it depends. So let's talk about the pros and cons of accepting counter-offers.

Pros of Accepting Counter-Offers

Your employer actually appreciates your work

Yes, in certain circumstances you may find that your employer was wholly unaware of how undervalued you felt. As a result, they may offer you more than just an incentive - but a heartfelt appreciation for you. You will feel good about staying in the company and willing to dismiss any issues that you were dealing with internally.

You feel comfortable

At the time, accepting the counter-offer may seem like the right decision as you will get to stay in a company that you’re comfortable with. You might have developed a good relationship with your coworkers and you wont need to build relationships with new colleagues. On top of that, you already know the processes within your current company and how to do your job so you don't have to adapt to the new working methods of another company. Then certainly, it will be easier for you to stay.

Cons of Accepting counter-offers

Does not solve your current issues

Despite the fact that counter-offers are often very flattering as well as potentially lucrative, remember that they do not solve the issues that cause you to resign in the first place! It's also worth considering why you are only being offered better salary or other benefits from the counter-offer now, rather than before your resignation.

Your loyalty may be questioned

The dynamic of your work environment could change. Be aware that accepting a counter-offer can lead to the stigma of being disloyal to your current company and your team. This might negatively affect your relationship with the company in the future as they might view you as an indecisive person or an unreliable team player. As a result, your chances for growth in the company might become limited in the long run.

So, what should you do?

We have gathered some inputs from our consultants here in TRIIIO. These are some pieces of advice they provided to their candidates who went through similar situations.

1. Refer back to the main reason why you’re looking out

As attractive as counter-offers may appear to be, it’s important to keep a clear head. Take a step back and think about the options available. You have seriously considered and applied for a new job, you’ve gone through the interview and accepted the new job. Ultimately, your decision to leave was made before you handed in your resignation letter. That's why we suggest you reflect on the main reasons why you initially looked for a new role and assess whether the counter-offer will give you everything you need.

2. Discuss with your manager

Go directly to your manager and discuss why they want to keep you. Is it truly because you’re valued or is it just to avoid turnover cost? Ask for a day or two to think about it. You don't have to decide right there and then. Take some time to study their proposal so you can be confident in making the right decision, whichever way you go.

3. Find out what you really want

Listen to your inner voice. Figure out whether it's best to stay or to go, depending on your unique situation - from your financial needs or career goals. Find out what's the push factor of leaving your company. If your push factor is money and your company proposes a higher salary as part of the counter-offer, then it would be beneficial for you to accept it. But on the contrary, if you’re looking for career progression or growth then it may be better for you to reject the offer.

4. Talk to your consultant

If you’re working with a consultant / recruiter, let them know about the counter-offer as soon as possible. They have been through this process plenty of times before with other candidates. Hence, they can provide you with their professional opinion on things you need to consider. It’s in their interest to help you make the right decision. They will not push you in rejecting the counter-offer as they know that their client will be looking for candidates who would want to stay long term.

Ultimately, you are the one who knows what’s best for yourself and your career!

Drop a comment in the section below and tell us if you have any experience dealing with counter-offer before! We’d love to hear your story and thoughts on this.


TRIIIO is a Malaysian recruitment firm focused on partnering with companies to find and recruit top talent and build their Software Engineering teams. For more information on how we can help you recruit Software Engineers in this candidate tight market, visit our service page. is a curated job board lovingly created by us at TRIIIO Recruitment to make your job search easier! Visit and start searching for Software Engineering jobs today!


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