Should I Tell The Recruiter I Have Counteroffer?

You’ve been looking for a job for a while, received and accepted an offer from a firm, given notice and received a counteroffer. Should you tell the recruiter?


Should I tell a recruiter I have a counteroffer? I want to start off with a few questions.

In telling the recruiter you have a counteroffer, what are you trying to accomplish? If you want to stay where you are, if your current employer has resolved every single reason why you decided to leave (after all, it wasn’t only about earning more money; it wasn’t just about getting a better job; it may have involved coworkers. It may have involved promotional opportunities), stay. What are you hoping to gain by telling the recruiter?

If the counteroffer is one where your current employer says, “We’ll match the offer,” that takes care of the money part of the situation. What about the rest of it?

By the way, there are two different types of recruiters. Agency recruiters and corporate recruiters. Our bill with both a little bit later. Right now, I’m talking about you and your side of this.

So, again, if they match the money, so what? There still all these other things that are problematic. I talk to people all the time you stay when the money is matched and then call me a month later and asked if I can get the previous offer back.

NO! You burned a bridge. You said yes and now you said no. They have long memories.

What you do instead is ask yourself why you would want to state an organization that’s holding you back that will keep you at the same desk for a higher paycheck. If the that’s the reason you are leaving, you put a gun to their head, they will remember that when review time comes along or the next time that there’s a promotion and they have a choice between you and the person that was loyal. They will reward the loyal one, obviously.

Unfortunately, people are seduced by the money and start jumping for it, begging for more and forget that there were other factors important, too.

Why would you stay with an organization we had to put a gun to their head, force them to make promises that they may forget later on in order to keep you.They may change nothing once you turn down the other offer.

The second thing I want to speak to is the difference between corporate recruiter and agency recruiter in this scenario.

Agency recruiter may pull out this article called, “Counteroffers: The Road to Ruin.” This is an article written many years ago in a publication for recruiters. It tries to persuade job hunters that staying in a current job instead of joining the firm they promise to join will kill your career because employers have long memories and remember the disloyalty. After all, all they’ve done is give you your next raise a little early, nothing changes, etc.. They will beat you up relentlessly.

You have to calmly deflect that and tell them, “Go to the client. Tell them to up the money. I’ll do it for this. It has to be a little bit above. After all, how do I gain if it it’s the same money?”

With a corporate recruiter, will generally seem a little more care. Agency recruiters are afraid of losing their fee, the big payday for all the work that they’ve done. A corporate recruiter will ask, “Why do you want to stay? What is it about your old job that’s changed the makes it better than ours?”

“Well, they match the money.”

“What about all those other things that they haven’t improved upon??”

You may eventually get to, “Well, I need a little bit more,” but when push comes to shove they will either be able to do it or not be able to do it and you will have to make a decision.

I’ll end by saying if it is only the money, remember that you put a gun to their head to get it. If they change other conditions, then maybe it’s worth considering. Caveat emptor. Yes, tell other recruiters but have a reasonable expectation of what you can get from it. Just know that statistically, when I’ve seen people stay, problems arise later on.

When you go to a new place, you start fresh with a halo around you, in some respects it’s easier and in some respects it’s harder.  They view you as their Savior, a solution for them a solution for them, rather than someone aggravation on a Friday afternoon by giving notice.


Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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