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How to Deal With Your Candidate Being Counter-offered

March 14th, 2023

4 min read

Connor smiling
Written by Connor Lead Consultant

How to deal with your candidate being offered counteroffer

As an employer or recruiter, it’s a great feeling when you’ve found the perfect candidate for your role. They’ve shone at interview, accepted your offer and you’re excited for your new hire to join the business.

But unfortunately, there’s one situation that can throw a spanner in the works. Your new hire may have been subject to a counter offer from their current employer. They could be tempted to stay in their current role with the offer of a higher salary, better benefits package or even a promotion.

This could mean losing a fantastic candidate right at the end of the recruitment process. If you don’t have great reserve candidates lined up and still available, you could face starting the whole search all over again. And this means both time and money, all while your vacancy remains unfilled.

So as an employer, is there anything you can do about a counter offer? Is there another card you can play, or do you have to passively accept the situation?

Let’s take a look at your options, and how to deal with the dreaded counter offer situation.

Take proactive steps to prevent counter offers

The best way to deal with counter offer situations is to prevent them from happening in the first place. There are a few things you can do during the recruitment process, such as:

  • Discuss counter offers at interview.

    Talk through the candidate’s reasons for leaving, and what their response would be if their employer asks them to stay. You may be able to pick up on warning signs at this point, such as whether salary is the main motivator for moving roles.

  • Sell your strengths as an employer.

    During the hiring process, make sure you ‘sell’ the benefits of working for your organisation at every stage. From the wording in the job ad right through to the interview and offer, you need to reminding the candidate why they’re making a great choice. Showcase your company culture, great benefits, exciting work opportunities or anything else that makes you stand out.

  • Make your best offer first time.

    If the candidate has the skills and experience you need, don’t hold anything back in reserve. Show them you’re serious about them, by offering your best package upfront.

  • Keep communicating.

    If you go quiet, this creates an opportunity for your candidate’s current employer to convince them to stay. So keep communicating, ensuring the candidate remains excited and enthusiastic to start their new role.

Know when to walk away

It’s easy to be drawn into a bidding war, especially when you have a talented candidate or it’s a hard-to-fill role. But you need to set your limits early on, defining exactly what you can offer in terms of salary and other benefits. Know what you can negotiate on, and what is a red line.

If the counter offer is too high, you may have to walk away and find another candidate to fill the role. This situation is far from ideal, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Use a specialist recruiter

When you source talent using a specialist recruiter, they can help to reduce the chances of counter offer situations cropping up. They can prepare the candidate for the possibility their employer may try to ‘buy’ them back. Your recruitment partner can also help you to negotiate and communicate with the candidate, to get your new hire over the line and into the role.

Need expert help with hiring? Our team here at Lavandi Talent are your go-to recruitment specialists, on hand for every part of the hiring process. Get in touch to start your candidate search – call 0161 399 1200 or email


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