Dealing with counter-offers: the fourth in the FJWilson ‘Talent acquisition’ series

FJW coutts-4106-C-500pxFiona Wilson, MD of FJWilson, writes: This week’s resource suggests a series of steps to help avoid candidates receiving, entertaining, or accepting counter-offers.


  1. The risk of a counter-offer is greatest where the candidate’s current remuneration is close to the original offer – so review applications from candidates in this situation. Is there a strong enough motive to leave the current employer?
  1. The risk of counter-offers is also large when the remuneration being offered is out of kilter with market rates. Ensure that you benchmark your proposed offer against other players in the market.
  1. Where candidates are in short supply, seek to accelerate turnaround times (between interview and appointment) in order to narrow the window for any counter-offer.
  1. You can assess the risk of a counter-offer better if you first establish:
    1. why the candidate is interested in the role
    2. why the candidate is interested in moving between employers
    3. what the candidate’s salary expectation is.
  1. If you make a verbal offer to a candidate, send the formal, written, offer on the same day.
  1. In the run-up to the start date, keep in regular contact with the recruitment agent and, via the agent, with the candidate. Start the process straightaway by sending a congratulations message.
  1. Prioritise the business of getting paperwork signed and sealed. Ensure that the agent helps to monitor and chase.


Previous posts in the series cover writing a brief for recruiters, attracting the best candidates, and providing  a great candidate experience.



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