CES Partners, Ltd. Executive Search Consultants

Please Stay… Just a Little Bit Longer

For months now, your executive recruiter has worked aggressively on your behalf, finally landing you your dream job, the next step on your stairway to healthcare career heaven. New growth potential, additional  compensation,  enhanced opportunities--what could be better?

But, as it turns out, it’s not quite that simple. When you announce your resignation, your current boss stares at you in shock. He practically begs you to stay.  What’s more, he sweetens the pot with a substantial raise, a promotion, and glowing predictions about your future in the organization. He has just made you a counteroffer.

Should you stay or should you go?

The truth is, accepting a counteroffer is almost always the wrong choice.

Taking the leap

So just why would a healthcare executive want to jump ship in the first place? The reasons are myriad:

  • You’re a “hot candidate”, with skills and experience in great demand in the open marketplace
  • You feel you deserve more money
  • You find yourself clashing with the board or executives at your current organization
  • You can’t communicate with the board or executives at your current organization
  • You’re bored—you want new challenges and professional growth
  • You no longer fit into the corporate culture
  • You want more recognition for your achievements and abilities
  • Your expertise is not being used effectively

In other words, you’ve stalled out. This is why you teamed up with the recruiter in the first place, to see what other valuable opportunities there are out there for you.


But now that you’ve made your decision to go, your current employer is bringing out his big guns. “I thought you were happy here,” he tells you. “Let’s discuss this.” He starts to lay  on the flattery and guilt: “You’re too valuable, we need you”; “We were just about to give you a raise and a promotion”; and “How can you desert us and all your friends, especially now?”

And he slaps a big fat figure on the table. Suddenly you’re struck with buyer’s remorse, and you find yourself thinking, “Maybe I should stay. After all, it’s not so bad here, and I know everybody. And maybe the new organization won’t work out.”

Too good to be true

But the problem is, your reasons for leaving haven’t changed. A counteroffer is nothing but a Band-aid - a temporary patch on a bad situation that will only leave you frustrated, underpaid, and underappreciated once again. Accepting a counteroffer can be one of the biggest career mistakes you will ever make. You need to face some hard realities:

  1. Your new pay increase may simply be a borrowing from future earnings.
  2. Your employer now knows you’re unhappy and from now on will call your loyalty and commitment into question--they know you can be bought.
  3. A counteroffer can be a stalling technique to give your organization time to find your replacement.
  4. You may have just put yourself on the fast track to be fired.
  5. You can create a bad reputation not only with your bosses, but with your co-workers as well.
  6. Your current employer may see you as a blackmailer .
  7. Will staying where you are enhance your skills and abilities or further your career goals?
More White Papers

Next: An Interview Guide for the Hiring Executive
Previous: Half Full, Half Empty: Learning to Be an Optimist

CES Partners, Ltd. is a premier retained executive search firm that specializes in serving healthcare provider organizations with tailored, personalized, senior level consulting services. With a national reach throughout the United States, CES Partners serves health systems, hospitals, group medical practices, and senior living communities. CES Partners’ main office is located at 1314 Kensington Road, #5195, Oak Brook, IL 60522-5195.