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Handling Counter Offers

Often the process of recruitment can be smooth and plain sailing. The candidate is about to embark on a new chapter in their career and the client has found the right person for the job. Everybody is happy.  But what happens when it’s not so straight forward? 

You have interviewed a fantastic candidate and you offer them the job which they accept.  That’s the ideal scenario. But what happens when a counter-offer comes into the equation? Generally, a counter-offer is when the candidate's existing employer reacts to their resignation by offering them something seemingly better. This typically comes in two forms:

More money – This is the most common counter-offer as it’s very easy to forget the reasons for wanting to leave a role, when you’re offered a sizeable pay rise – at least temporarily.

Promotion – It’s surprising how quickly a candidate can be promoted following a resignation.  

As well as the ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’ mentality, there are many reasons as to why an employer may counter-offer. Including:

The cost of recruitment and training – It’s estimated that training a new employee can cost anywhere from 20% to 40% of their yearly salary.  This combined with any potential recruitment fee on top makes a counter-offer a much more cost-effective option. 

Time – recruitment can be a lengthy and arduous processes if not done correctly.  A hiring managers time is a valuable commodity and isn’t best utilised in an interview room all week.

Loss of income – if a member of staff leaves a team, there’s generally a reduction in output which can delay projects or production. Businesses will want to retain existing employees to avoid this happening.

Remote Training - New ways of working means that candidates are not only looking for a strong salary but also increased flexibility. This flexibilty often means its difficult for companies to train new hires due to remote working and so often prefer to counter another offer for existing staff that are seeking new opportunities.

Counter-offers are frustrating for both the new employer and the recruiter involved and it can often feel like an impossible task to compete with a generous pay rise or promises of promotion.

Recruiters get a bad rep, but ultimately we want what is best for our candidates. Placing our candidates into the wrong job is counterproductive, it means more work replacing them, a bad reputation and severed relationships with both candidates and clients. Building a good enough rapport with our candidates will allow us to truly assess whether they’re making the right decision for them when accepting or refusing a counter-offer. Knowledge of our sector and the businesses within it also helps.

Matching the counter-offer may be an option in some cases, but it is important for us to not to lose sight of what is best for both the client and the candidate. 

Balancing the best interests of both parties isn’t always easy, but with your trust and confidence in our capabilities to deliver, we believe together we can find the greatest outcome for all.

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