Counter Offer
By Gemma Morris
19th July 2018

We recently wrote about why candidates shouldn’t accept counter offers from their current employers, and why we believe they can be counter-productive and are usually not taken for the right reasons. 

And while we have written plenty of advice for the candidates we want to look at it from an employer’s perspective. If you are hiring a new team are there warning signs your candidate is going to accept a counter offer and what can you do at the interview stage to stop this from happening?


If you have offered your chosen candidate the role but they seem reluctant to hand their notice in or are continuously saying they “haven’t been able to hand it in yet”, it could be the first sign. While sometimes this is true, and it can be difficult to hand notices in, it may also be because their current employer has counter offered and the candidate is thinking it over.

One way to combat this at interview stage is to directly ask the candidate how they would react if they were counter offered. You should also be wary of their reasons for looking for a new role; is it just for money? This is also your opportunity to remind the candidate why they should take a job with you and how your role and company will be better. 


Is the candidate asking lots of questions about the smaller details? For some candidates, things like company culture, commuting distance and working hours can be a deal breaker, if you can’t offer a package similar or better than their current employer you may be at risk of a counter offer. While some of these things can’t be changed it is essential to find out a candidate’s drivers before an offer is made.

If a candidate is questioning your company culture and terms of employment they might not be the right candidate. If a candidate is motivated by your company and the role, things like longer commutes or working hours will be overlooked.


When a candidate is excited to start a new role, in our experience they usually hand their notice in as soon as possible and are in constant contact. If the candidate goes quiet and is difficult to get hold off it could be a warning sign. Not answering phone calls or emails could be a sign they have been counter offered and are thinking it through, for some the security of a role they know can be more appealing than the risk of a new one.

If you feel this could be the case it is essential to keep the candidate reassured about the role and your company, emphasise the excitement of starting a new role! Keep in contact with the candidate and keep it personal, keeping them engaged with personal contact can be the way to win this candidate over.

When offering a candidate a new job there is always a risk of a counter offer being made. The interview stage is your best chance to combat this from happening, if a candidate is driven and is looking for a new role for the right reasons they are more likely to ignore the counter offer. 

Have you ever fallen victim to a counter offer? How do you make sure candidates don’t accept counter offers? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best Information Management and Data Analytics jobs. For more hiring advice check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn.

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