You've made it through most of the complex steps involved in finding a new job, from designing the perfect food manufacturing CV to practising the ultimate interview techniques. Finally, all your hard work has paid off, and you've received an excellent offer from your new employer.
So, what happens when you hand over your resignation letter and your current manager provides a counter offer, asking you to stay?
Anywhere up to 50% of the employees who choose to resign from a role will receive a counteroffer from their employer.
In other words, additional money or benefits they didn't consider offering you before they realised you wanted to leave.
In the age of the Great Resignation, when demand for food industry talent is higher than ever, your chances of getting a counteroffer are even higher.
While the promise of extra benefits, money, or responsibilities from your existing employer might be tempting, accepting a counteroffer could be a wrong move for your food industry career.
Here are the reasons why you should usually ignore a counteroffer.
A counteroffer is an offer made by your existing employer in response to your request from another business. This is a counteroffer when you hand over our resignation letter, and your manager promises you more money to return and retain your current role.
Counteroffers are becoming more commonplace as food industry leaders struggle to hold onto their top talent in a skills-short environment. Unfortunately, according to statistics, around 80% of the people who accept these offers end up leaving their employer within six months anyway. Here's why you should politely but firmly decline a counteroffer.
Deciding to seek a new food manufacturing job isn't something most people will do on a whim. Instead, there's a good chance you've spent a lot of time thinking about the pros and cons of leaving your job and looking for something else.
When you're given a counteroffer, it may address one of your problems with your current role (such as a low salary), but it's unlikely to tackle every issue that convinced you to leave.
Ask yourself why you wanted to take this new job in the first place. Is your current role not challenging enough, or are you planning on moving in a new direction with your career? Maybe you don't like the culture of your existing company. If the counteroffer doesn't resolve every issue, you should say "no".
Employees in the competitive food industry sector have every right to seek new roles whenever they choose. However, letting your employer know you're not happy in your position and actively looking for something else will likely impact your relationship.
There's a good chance your employer will have questions about your loyalty after accepting the counteroffer, which means they may not have the same trust in you they had before. Your employer might pass you for promotions because they consider you a flight risk, or they may start looking for other people to fill the gap you'll leave when you do eventually switch jobs.
Even if your boss goes in the other direction and starts working harder to keep you happy, there's likely to be an uncomfortable dynamic in play.
Career development often involves moving between different roles, exploring new jobs, and taking on new responsibilities over the years. While you can climb the ladder in one food company and have a great career, consistently staying in one place could mean you miss out on opportunities to expand your skills and experience.
When deciding whether a counteroffer is worth accepting, ask yourself if you'll still be moving towards your long-term career goals if you say yes. Compared to the other job you have lined up, can your current role help you achieve your targets faster?
A higher salary won't satisfy you for long if your current role isn't pushing you in the right direction. It's essential to keep the end goal in mind with your career.
In a skills-short manufacturing marketplace, employers will often rush to offer extra benefits and increased salaries to avoid the stress of searching for new employees. However, this could mean they start looking for evidence you're worth the extra investment.
Having extra scrutiny placed on everything you do within the business can be a stressful experience, even if you know you deserve the different benefits you receive.
In some cases, employees who accept counteroffers find themselves under pressure to perform like a new hire all over again, trying to prove they deserve their new salary and responsibilities. In other cases, you may find that you start receiving duties you didn't ask for simply because your boss is trying to ensure they're getting their "money's worth" from you.
Job changes can be stressful and worrying, but they're also an incredible opportunity to unlock your true potential and advance your career. If you've been offered a role at another company, and you've said "yes", there's clearly something about the job that appealed to you.
Maybe you loved the idea of working remotely in the food manufacturing environment and don't have an opportunity to do that at your new job. Perhaps you were interested in focusing on a slightly different part of your industry in a different role.
Although you'll have the comfort of not having to get used to a new workplace and meet new people, you'll also be left constantly wondering what would have happened if you had followed through and moved into the new job.
It's worth preparing for a counteroffer in advance when you approach your manager with your resignation letter, particularly in a skill's short environment. Think about how you will reject the offer politely and firmly and what essential factors might convince you to give your old job a second chance.
Working with a specialist food recruitment team to find the ideal new role will help to ensure you don't have any doubts about moving into your new position.
Get in touch if you’re considering the next steps in your career, and we will show you where to start.
We offer complimentary and confidential career conversations. Contact one of our teams here or call 07835426149.
I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit - Search & Selection.
Passionate about the Food Manufacturing industry, having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers.
High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets, including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.
I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long-standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands.
Progressing on to Business Development Manager, covering multiple markets before starting mine on agency in September 2020.