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Five tips to help you counter the counteroffer?

10 December 2021

After months of hard work, you’ve finally made an offer to the perfect person. But their current employer is digging in and they’re not ready to let them go without a fight. So, they counter.

All of a sudden, you’re back in the trenches. How do you counter this counteroffer?

In this blog, we share five top tips to help you win the battle for top talent.


Unless they’re a strategic mastermind, if a candidate is contemplating an offer from a new company, there must be a reason why. After all when there’s smoke there’s fire. As the potential new suitor, you need to understand this reason.  Talent changes jobs for a myriad of reasons, with 40% expected to do so during the ‘great resignation’ in the coming months, so pinpointing this can be challenging. But ultimately, most candidates are contemplating a move because they want something better.

With this in mind, you need to dig a little deeper to uncover the wants, needs and motivations driving this decision. Why do they want to leave? What are their goals? What value can you offer them? Your ability to answer these questions will give you more intel about a particular candidate, helping you come up with a better strategy to secure them.


With this newfound understanding, you need to capitalise by aligning it with your counteroffer.  Knowledge is power, and using it correctly gives you more firepower to suppress any enemy that approaches.

Does the candidate want flexibility? Give them the option to work-from-home or choose their hours. Does the candidate want more money? Add some financial incentives for strong performance. Does the candidate want career progression? Share a clear pathway for their advancement.

Be agile and adaptable in what you’re willing to offer, and make sure it aligns with what the individual is actually looking for.


Relationships underpin all recruitment activity. In a one-on-one battle with a current employer, building a strong relationship with a candidate is very beneficial. Obviously, time isn’t on your side, and you won’t have the same depth of history as your opponent. But this can work for or against you depending on the status of current relationships. Either way, a good rule of thumb is that you’ll probably need to work twice as hard.

The building blocks of any relationship is honesty, trust, responsiveness and communication. Recruitment is no different, and successfully building strong relationships with people will make it significantly harder for prospective hires to turn you down.


Changing employers for many is a daunting task. When your current employer throws in their counteroffer, sticking with what you know is sometimes far more appealing than what you don’t know. People tend to be risk averse, so you naturally face an uphill battle trying to convince them to jump ship. In this situation, you need to do all you can to minimise any anxiety a candidate may feel.

How do you do this? You support them end-to-end through the hiring process, making it as seamless as possible. Offer them the support and advice they need to guide them through uncertainty. What does resignation look like? What does transitioning jobs look like? Be as detailed as possible. The more comfortable a candidate feels with the idea of changing jobs, the more likely they may actually follow through with it.

5. Agility

The old saying that a ‘quick game is a good game’ certainly rings true when it comes to recruitment. With talent so scarce and demand so high, it’s only a matter of time before more players enter the arena. So you need to move quickly. The best way to counter a counteroffer is to be so agile that current employers don’t have time to propose a counteroffer in the first place.

This means from the moment you first contact a candidate; you need to have a plan in place from beginning to end to expedite the process. Companies who equivocate for weeks and months, will undoubtedly lose the talent they crave.

The battle for talent has never been more hotly contested, with offers for good people coming from left, right and centre. To come out on top, and counter these offers, you need to provide talent with the best employment option. How? By understanding them, being strategic, building relationships, supporting them and being agile. At Ignite, we incorporate all these elements into our candidate experience to ensure our clients secure the best talent possible.

Talk to our team to find our more!