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Counter offers guidance for employers

Dealing with counter offers from candidates

The process of sifting through CVs and selecting candidates for interview is by no means a short one. So, once you've offered the job to your ideal candidate, it can be devastating to discover that they have been counter-offered by their current employer - or, indeed, another organisation keen to employ them.


The current employer

Although it's by far the most common form of counter-offering, an increase in salary is not always the reason behind someone's decision to stay put. They will have proved themselves at their current company, may fit in well, know everyone in the workplace and are obviously adept at their job. It could seem too easy a situation to leave.

The advantage you do have is the fact that he or she wanted to leave in the first place, and money isn't normally the sole factor. If they wanted to leave their current employer because of a lack of progression, poor promotional opportunities, an unsatisfactory office environment, a personality clash, location or scope of the role, then you might be able to turn the situation around.

This is where your recruitment consultant may be able to help you. It is possible that by arranging to see the candidate again you'll be able to address the reasons she wanted to move in the first place and reaffirm the reasons why joining your company will be the right move.

If this fails, then it pays to look on the bright side. If money was the only thing they were interested in, they weren't necessarily what you were looking for anyway. You can now hire someone else instead, perhaps someone better.

The rival employer

In most cases, applicants on the hunt for a job will interview with more than one company, often during the same period of time. This can mean that:

  • Another company might offer them a role first, meaning you don't even get a chance

  • Another company might offer them more money / additional benefits

  • The jobseeker could play off various companies' offers against one another, in order to get themselves the best deal

Anticipate a counter-offer

By anticipating - and preparing for - a counter-offer scenario, you can actually avoid the situation altogether. A survey of Hays recruitment consultants in the South East has revealed that it is crucial to ask some questions to ask potential applicants as early as possible. These are:

  • Why are you unhappy in your current position?

  • What have you done to address the situation?

  • Have you told your employer of your concerns?

  • What was their response?

  • If you are successful obtaining this position, do you expect to be counter-offered?

  • If so, how will you respond? Will a monetary counter-offer only solve the problem in the short-term, meaning you will be in the same position you are now again in six months' time?

  • Under what circumstances, if any, would you stay?

  • If you would not accept a counter-offer, why not?

  • How committed are you to your reasons for leaving?

In all probability, if you recruit reasonably often, you will come across a counter-offer situation. Sometimes you'll be successful in luring the candidate to your organisation, sometimes you won't. If they don't come then it is probably for the best in the long run.

To find out more about how our specialists can help you attract high quality applicants, contact us at your nearest Hays office

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