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How to combat the counter offer

If you are responsible for recruitment within your team or organisation you’ve no doubt experienced how competitive the current candidate market is. The number of vacancies listed in the healthcare sector is growing, yet with border restrictions and the fear of uncertainty, there are fewer candidates actively applying for roles. 

Active job seekers hold the power with many being in situations where they have multiple offers on the table, from both other opportunities or their current employers in a bid to retain them. In order to ensure a successful recruitment outcome for your vacancy, you must anticipate that multiple and counteroffers are more prevalent than ever and could impact your recruitment process. 

At every touchpoint engage with your candidate, seek to understand what other roles they are considering or in the process for. This will help discover the appeal of other opportunities and understand how your offer is positioned against them.  Benchmark your offer (remuneration and benefits) to ensure it meets what others in the market are offering. This doesn’t necessarily mean increasing the salary (although in some instances this will work)  there are other factors equally important to job seekers in the current market. Work/life balance has fast become one of the biggest motivating factors for candidates to seek a new opportunity, evaluating your roster structure to accommodate this will help your opportunity stand out. The ability to be flexible with your offer demonstrates to a  candidate that you invested in a long term partnership with them. 

In order to mitigate the risk of your preferred candidate accepting a counter offer there are steps you can take from the start to set yourself up for success. First and foremost, a clear timeline from the 1st interview through to the job offer will provide structure and keep the wheels moving. Regularly check in with your applicants to keep them engaged - even letting them know there are no updates is an update to them.  If there are multiple stakeholders involved that will be a part of your  2nd or 3rd interview book those interview times in their calendars from the outset - the scramble to align everyone’s schedules towards the end of the process adds pressure and stress that can easily be avoided by organising this in advance. Time is precious and waiting for calendars to align could mean the difference between a candidate accepting an offer that has already been presented to them instead of waiting for you. 

Ensure you and your team are ready to sell your brand and promote all the great things about working in your business.  When engaging a potential new hire, share the importance of the role, the challenges they may face (for many candidates this is a positive opportunity for them to make a difference to your organisation and customers), outline the training that will be provided throughout onboarding and ongoing and lastly share examples of others in your business;  when they started, how they progressed and the long-term progression pathways available within the company. Be honest and open, there should be no questions left unanswered - the more information a candidate has, the easier it is for them to make the decision to join your team. 


  • Your position description is up to date and ready to share
  • Process and timeline in place and all stakeholders engaged (ideally 5-10 days max)
  • Market checked your remuneration and benefits on offer
  • Does your job advertisement position the vacancy well to stand out in this market?
  • Candidate engagement plan - all aboard and ready to sell your organisation and job opportunity

Our team has experienced the surge in counteroffers firsthand, they’re more than happy to chat with you in more detail about how your business can overcome this and ensure you have a successful recruitment outcome.