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The Facts Surrounding Counter Offers; Stick or Twist?

​Dealing with counter-offers can be frustrating. You’ve worked hard finding the right candidate, building a relationship with them and presenting them to your client. The client knows immediately they’re right for the role and submits an excellent offer for them. 

However, things aren’t always that smooth. The candidate informs you their current employer has submitted a counter-offer and that they are considering it. You know it’s a bad idea and that it very rarely has a happy ending, but how can you convince them of that? 

Studies from show that counter-offers are very rarely successful for the employee. The studies show 80% of candidates that accept a counter-offer from their employer leave within 6 months, with the figure rising to 90% leaving before the year ends. Further figures show that counter-offers are accepted by employees 57% of the time.

Statistics from illustrate the issues around counter-offers and why they can be tricky for recruiters. Here is some information on why they tend to be unsuccessful, best positioning yourself to give your candidates the best advice.

What was the candidate’s motivation for leaving their current employment? 

Your conversations and meetings with your candidate will have covered reasons for leaving their current employment. Often candidates want a better salary, role progression or find themselves generally unhappy in their current situation. 

If your candidate has already decided to look elsewhere, committed to the selection process and performed well in the interview, they are serious about a move. A boost in salary may initially look good, but it may not fix the other issues surrounding their current employment

Is there an advantage to remaining with the same employer?

Often candidates that accept a counter-offer find their stance within the company diminished across various areas. Questions arise about their commitment to the company, their standing when a promotion opportunity appears and whether superiors are actively planning a long-term replacement. 

Will they take the offer? 

Some may take it for a higher salary or maybe it seems like a safer option. These are valid points to consider as an employee and the only thing you can do as a recruiter is warn them of the potential problems and try to steer them towards a new opportunity.

There are things you can do to plan around and combat the counter-offer problem:

  • Statistically, every 1 in 2 candidates may have to make this decision, so by asking the right questions around their wish to move on should give you an excellent base to combat any problems that arise. 

  • Keep in contact with the candidate once the client has offered them the role. A job change is a big decision for anyone to make, with much to consider. Keep up the communication and see if there is anything you can do to help your candidate decide on their future. 

  • Make sure the candidate knows all the reasons why it’s a good move for them to make, sell the pros.

At the end of the day as a recruiter, you are in the best position to make sure the candidate is as informed as they can be, but you should know when to walk away. Once you have done everything you can, it’s down to them to make their own decision. 

LMA was recently voted 2nd in The Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For and received a 3-star accreditation from Best Companies. Our innovative approach to recruitment has helped many clients and candidates achieve their objectives.

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