Spotlight On: The rise of the counter-offer – how to increase your chances of securing the talent you need

Even the most experienced hiring managers can get caught cold by a killer counter-offer. As businesses fight to recruit the best talent from a narrowing pool, our Clint Harrison shares how to avoid losing great candidates before they're even in the door.

Men shaking hands. Leading renewable energy recruiters Taylor Hopkinson share how to avoid losing a great candidate to a counter-offer.

There is no doubt that counter-offers are increasing in popularity.

Within the offshore wind space we are seeing it more and more, particularly in the development, BD, M&A, and EPC front-end lifecycle stages where demand is greatest and the market increasingly competitive. Businesses understand the potential impact a senior person can have on their project pipeline, and how damaging it could be if they were to leave and take their knowledge and relationships with them.

What’s driving the rise?

Cost and time – businesses know that losing senior BD talent can be costly and time consuming. Replacing them and integrating new hires into the business can take anywhere between 12 – 18 months.

Impact of VC – with virtual interviews on the rise, it’s more difficult to build rapport than it would be face-to-face, so candidates may find it easier to accept a counter-offer from their current employer and stay where they are.

Increased competition – we are facing a potential skills gap in offshore wind, making it even more difficult to replace these hard-to-find roles, as businesses battle to secure the right senior people from a narrowing talent pool.

It’s no wonder businesses are putting more and more money on the table to retain their top talent.

Key considerations for managing the counter-offer

Whilst the counter-offer is difficult to avoid, here are a few points that could help you secure the right candidate first time.

1) Regular contact with the new hire is key
Meet them face-to-face if you can and check in with them regularly. Introduce them to your team and the wider business and get them involved as early as possible to kick start relationship building with key stakeholders.

2) Is the candidate asking the right questions?

  • Are they interested in finding out what it’s like to work in your business?
  • Are they asking about future growth plans for the business and how they might fit into that?
  • What about structured training opportunities and career plans to support their own development within the business?

Or do they seem more focused on holiday entitlement or salary?

This is a good way to really understand the candidate’s engagement and buy-in.

3) Discuss counter-offers at final interview
Address this head-on. What is their key motivation for leaving? If it’s simply financial, dig deeper into how they would respond to a counter-offer from their current employer. This can throw up red flags and uncover whether they are genuinely interested in moving to your business, or whether they are happy where they are and are just looking for a salary increase.

4) Really promote the benefits of your offer
Help them to see that the opportunity you are presenting is the most attractive option. Are they motivated by the prospect of structured career progression? A more appealing team culture and environment? Explain to them how your business can meet their expectations and highlight the key benefits for them.

This is your chance to get them excited about the move!

5) Spot the signs
Are they excited yet? Do they still seem unsure? Ask specific questions to make sure you’ve given them all the information they need. If they’re still lacking enthusiasm for the role, it’s likely they’re happy where they are and could be holding out for a counter-offer, so it’s best to consider other candidates.


Need some help?

We carry out screening throughout the selection process to minimise the risk of counter-offers being accepted by the successful candidates. If you’re looking for further help or advice on handling counter-offers, our team is happy to help.


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