Navigating Counter Offers: A Guide for Recruitment Success
Banner Default Image

Posted on 06 September 2023

In the competitive world of recruitment, finding the right talent for your organisation can be a challenging journey. 50% of applicants are given a counter offer by their current employer. What should you do if this happens to you? This blog post will explore the complexities of counter offers and provide insights on how to handle them effectively.

Understanding Counter Offers:

A counter offer is an enticing proposition from a candidate's current employer, made in an attempt to retain the employee who's considering leaving for a new opportunity. It often includes promises of higher salary, better benefits, and improved working conditions. For recruiters and hiring managers, counter offers can introduce a whole new layer of complexity to the hiring process.

The Employee's Perspective:

From the candidate's perspective, a counter offer can be flattering and tempting. After all, it reaffirms their value to the current organisation. However, it's essential for candidates to think long-term and weigh the pros and cons of staying versus pursuing the new opportunity. Factors like career growth, company culture, and alignment with personal goals should play a significant role in their decision-making process.

Why Counter Offers Occur:

Understanding why counter offers are made can shed light on how to respond. Employers may issue counter offers to prevent disruptions in workflow, retain business knowledge, or avoid the cost and time associated with hiring and training a replacement. Recognising these underlying motivations can guide your approach to the situation.

Handling Counter Offers:

  1. Open Communication: Keep the lines of communication open with the candidate. Understand their reasons for exploring new opportunities and their motivations for considering the counter offer. This will help you tailor your responses accordingly.

  1. Highlight Unique Value Proposition: Emphasize the unique aspects of your practice that attracted the candidate in the first place. Highlight the potential for career growth, exciting projects, and alignment with their aspirations.

  1. Reinforce the Cultural Fit: If the candidate values your practice culture, remind them of the cultural alignment they felt during the interview process. This can counterbalance the familiarity they might feel with their current workplace.

  1. Address Concerns: If the counter offer is financially motivated, discuss the potential for future salary growth within your practice. Ensure the candidate feels valued and adequately compensated in the long run. In our experience, counter offers are more common and more successful where the hiring manager has not met the salary expectations of the candidate to begin with but the candidate has accepted the lower offer as they are so keen to join their organisation. You can ensure the counter offer does not even have traction by offering the salary expectations or going slightly higher if possible to secure your candidate.

  1. Long-Term Vision: Help the candidate envision their future within your practice. Discuss the roadmap for their role, responsibilities, and potential contributions.

  1. Be Prepared for Their Decision: Recognise that candidates might still choose the counter offer. Maintain professionalism and leave the door open for future opportunities should they decide to explore them later.

Counter offers are a natural part of the recruitment process in today's competitive job market. As a practice owner or hiring manager, your role is to guide candidates through this decision-making process while emphasizing the unique advantages your organisation offers. By offering the salary expectations or going higher than their expectations, maintaining open communication, highlighting cultural alignment, and focusing on long-term vision, you can increase your chances of successfully recruiting top talent even in the face of counter offers. Remember, it's not just about filling a position; it's about finding the right fit for both the candidate and your practice's future success.​

Share this article