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Why You Should Never Consider a Counteroffer

Extending an offer of employment is a monumental endeavor – your company is communicating to the candidate that you value and desire them, and that you are willing to compensate them for their skills and performance. You are inviting the candidate into your team, into your workflow, and into your world.

Every so often, a prospective candidate will throw a wrench into the equation by volleying a counteroffer; this can be disheartening and confusing. However, your response should be clear and swift: never consider a counteroffer. Here’s why:

The Terms Have Been Decided

When a candidate finds a job posting or is introduced to the role by a recruiter for the first time, there is an understanding that develops with the hiring company. If the candidate pursues the role, they are also pursuing the benefits and compensation as listed on the posting. A candidate who completes the application process, succeeds, and then proposes a different employment arrangement misunderstands the recruiting picture. If you, as the employer, have been clear about the role you are looking to fill and the benefits entailed, you are under no obligation to adjust the course at the last minute due to a counteroffer. Money counteroffers are just a short term solution to a long term problem as 80% of employees that accept a counteroffer are no longer with the employer 12 months later.

The Initial Offer Should Be Competitive

Ideally, the offer presented to the candidate should reflect your genuine desire to add them to your team. The offer must make the candidate feel appreciated and valuable, which will help them enter their new role with enthusiasm and positivity. If your firm has extended a competitive offer, entertaining a counteroffer could prove harmful and expensive. Considering improved compensation beyond the initial offer could lead your company to pay more than you can afford, potentially causing salary cuts or even layoffs down the road. Furthermore, your firm’s impression of the candidate will change, and the cost of having them onboard may sour your relationship moving forward.

It Undermines Your Credibility

As a candidate, it’s important to remember that it should not take a resignation for a company to pay you your value in the marketplace. Accepting a counteroffer will affect your future bonus and salary increases as trust and loyalty has been broken and managers will take it personally. Counteroffers also allow the employer time to hire and replace your role instead of working with you. 

As a company, considering a counteroffer starts your relationship with the applicant on the wrong foot. It signals that your firm is fickle, easily swayed, and worse, inaccurate in its evaluation of its employees. If you’ve done things correctly, the offer should communicate exactly what you are looking for – and you should stand behind that.

Partner with Sudina

The hiring process is complex – a quality recruiting firm will partner with you through each step along the way. This includes planning, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and following-up to ensure the placement is successful for both the client and the candidate. Sudina Search was founded on building professional relationships through results. Forty years later, we continue to deliver exceptional staffing results through our network of valued relationships. We’re a full-service recruiting firm focusing on the career areas of Accounting & Finance, Information Technology, Software Engineering, and Human Resources. Visit our website at to start recruiting top talent for the future.