How to deal with a counteroffer

One of the most common sticking points in developer recruitment relates to counter offers during the hiring process. Everything is going swimmingly, the client thinks they have secured the best possible person for the job, they make the offer, and the candidate verbally accepts it and then... as the developer goes to hand in their notice, they receive a counteroffer to stay. Suddenly the whole developer recruitment process is up in the air and there is a risk that the time and money spent investing in that individual is about to be lost entirely. 


Why do counter offers happen? 


A counteroffer is usually made by an existing employer to entice their employee to stay. It could include a better salary package, greater flexibility (homeworking or part-time work for example) or improved prospects and new responsibilities, with a route towards promotion. 


However, prospective employers can make counter offers if the candidate rejects the first offer and asks for a better salary or compensation package. When offered a role, many candidates know their prospective employer really wants them as part of their team and has likely committed a significant amount of time and money in reaching the offer point in the recruitment development process. 


How can we mitigate the risks of counter offers? 


Insight and awareness are powerful tools here and there are several strategies that we can take in the developer recruitment process to minimise the risks of counter offers. For example: 


1. Assess how serious each candidate is about the role for which they are applying. Are they genuinely looking for a new position or are they simply looking to provoke their existing employer into offering something better? 


2. Provide information and insight if a counteroffer situation occurs and threatens to derail the recruitment process. Research suggests that these offers simply aren't valuable in the long-term and they don't deliver the intended outcome for the candidate or employer alike. For example, research [1] suggests that: 


1. Around 80 per cent of candidates who accept a counteroffer from their existing employer still leave their role - usually within six months  

2. 90 per cent of candidates will leave their existing employer within the year after accepting a counteroffer 

3. Half of the candidates that accept this kind of counteroffer within their existing role will be actively back on the job market and searching for a new role within two months 


Furthermore, accepting a counteroffer within an existing role tends to cause its own problems. For example, it can be tough for a developer to return to their employer after giving in their notice and when their manager and colleagues know that they accepted a higher salary or other benefits to stay. 


What does a counteroffer look like? 


A counteroffer could be in the form of a higher salary, better perks, more flexible working, a promise of promotion or something else. 


How can we handle counter offers with candidates? 


It helps to explain the reality of counter offers in that they rarely work out. Revisit the benefits of accepting the new role in terms of progression, job satisfaction, and overall career goals. Encourage the candidate to look beyond the immediate offer and consider negotiating with the new employer if it comes to it. 


How can we handle counter offers with clients? 


We employ various strategies and work closely with clients and candidates alike to help ensure the best possible outcome for everyone. Sometimes the sticking point may not even be related to money at all, but the desire on the candidate's behalf to attain something more - recognition, progression, work-life balance and so forth. A successful outcome is often possible where everyone can communicate fully and with expert input from our recruiters.  


Find out more  


Please get in touch with Nixor to learn more about how we can help you get the best results from your recruitment efforts. Our industry experts have an exceptional track record in finding the best quality hires for IT and technology businesses of all kinds. We take pride in our results, customer service, and attention to detail. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more.