What to Do When a Candidate Comes Back with a Counter Offer

What to Do When a Candidate Comes Back with a Counter Offer

When you interview somebody for a job vacancy, and offer them the role, they might sometimes respond with an alternative offer. This could be regarding hours, location or responsibilities, but it is usually concerning salary.

This might always have been their intention, and now that they know you’re interested they’re ready to discuss the package in more detail. Sometimes the negotiation is driven by their current employer trying to entice them to stay, and offering to beat your offer. In fact, 50% of candidates that resign will be counter offered by their current employer, research shows.

So what happens next?

Don’t be afraid to say no if you need to

No matter how impressed you were during the interview process, if the budget can’t afford them, then you need to accept it. Agreeing to meet or beat a counter offer when your finances aren’t equipped could land you in all sorts of trouble.

It’s also perfectly fine to reject a counter offer if you don’t feel it is justified. Communicate this clearly and you never know, they may compromise in order to secure their new role with you.

See if you can compromise with other non-monetary perks

If you simply can’t afford to trump a counter offer, don’t despair just yet. Try explaining that you can’t meet the increase in salary right now, but you can offer them some other benefits.

This could be one, or a combination of the following ideas:

  • The chance to increase the salary following a performance review 12 or even 6 months down the line
  • Flexible working hours and the chance to work from home
  • Training which you will invest in on their behalf
  • Other ways to save them some money e.g. free parking, free/discounted gym membership

Speak to your accountant

When it comes to matters relating to money, it’s always a good idea to touch base with your accountant. They will be able to look over your finances and offer honest advice about whether you can afford a higher salary.

Christopher Jones
Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.