The Recruiter's Soapbox

Counter-Offers … And That Sinking Feeling

As recruiters, we have all been in the ‘champagne and razor blades’ situation; an offer is on the table, candidate has verbally accepted, resignation is in process and the current employers swoop in with a counter-offer of a huge pay hike/promotion/training and development opportunities … or all of the above.

How to deal with counter-offers before they even happen

Inevitably, awesome candidates worth their salt will face the prospect of a counter-offer. It’s something we should all expect to happen but how do you support your candidates through this situation? As a relationship-driven consultant I believe you have to make sure your integrity shines through.

Don’t panic

It can be tempting to sell against your candidate’s current employer but providing you have broached the subject and know your candidate’s key drivers and motivators, then your questions will already have been answered.

Always expect a counter-offer

If a candidate is as good as they say they are then you would expect their current employers to try to keep them in the business. For anybody facing a counter-offer, let’s face it-money talks.

Be honest

My advice is to have an open and honest discussion to remind your candidate of their initial drivers to move their career along:

  • Why were you initially looking to move from your current company?
  • Where will the new job offer take your career development to?
  • What does the bigger picture look like for you?

Ditch the counter-offer statistics

There are lots of stats out there on dealing with counter-offers. Realistically, when is a counter-offer going to benefit a recruiter? Pushing stats and the cons of accepting a counter offer could question your credibility. As long as you are consultative in your approach then your job offer will be the better opportunity, and if you occasionally lose out to a counter offer, that candidate will likely come back (if all of those stats out there are true) so why panic? Keep the pipeline pumping and move on I say.

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