Are You Being Beaten By Counteroffers?

Document created by 1050210 on Nov 13, 2014
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Published Date: 06/09/2014


Reneé Watkins

By Reneé Watkins


In today’s battle for top talent, active recruiting of candidates not currently looking for a job plays a larger than ever role in filling open positions. It is estimated that one out of every three offers made to a candidate not actively seeking a position will be met with a counteroffer from their current employer.


How can you prevent a counteroffer from undermining weeks, or even months, of active recruiting of a qualified candidate all the way from the first contact to a job offer? By making sure yours is the right offer the first time.


The strongest possible offer must be presented the first time, in terms of compensation, benefits, perks, etc. Offers that would be considered low-ball, or even a lateral move, will easily fall prey to a counteroffer from a current employer. People will often follow the path of least resistance, especially if they are somewhat satisfied at their current position. All it would take to stay put would be a little incentive over what they are currently getting, unless your incentive to leave is stronger than any counteroffer their employer could mount.


Most offers are made taking several factors into consideration. Things like local cost of living, internal salary grades, niche skills and average industry wage for the position are all a part of the equation when calculating a job offer. Typically, a serious job offer for a candidate not actively seeking a position will come in at 10 to 20 percent above the candidate’s current salary to be considered.


Counteroffers are rarely more than cursory in nature. At best, an employer may offer some additional perks, a more flexible work schedule and a 10 to 12 percent pay increase. Still, for a candidate who is somewhat satisfied with their current employer, this may be enough.


For a solid offer to be attractive enough to prevent a counteroffer from pulling your candidate back across the line, you will want to consider offering a 20 to 30 percent increase over current salary if you feel your candidate is a top performer who would bring real value to your organization.