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Counter Offers and Trust

Counter Offers and Trust

By Aaron O’Byrne – Annex Client Manager, Permanent Placement


Currently (February 2018), we are in what we like to call a ‘candidate driven market’. Simply put, it means that candidates have more job opportunities to select from and decide on new career paths. It also means that companies have to combat the potential hemorrhaging of staff and knowledge leaving their team.

A counter offer is a common solution companies use to discourage candidates from leaving. Typically, this means an employer finally grants what a candidate has already requested, such as a pay rise, promotion, new projects, etc. Candidates may have been asking for these things for years. This initially seems like a great thing – you are getting what you asked for! But realistically, these benefits have been there the whole time; they’ve only materialized due to the fear of losing you.

What candidates sometimes fail to see, unless fully prepared ahead of time, is that this initial win only results in going back to the same problems you had that made you want to leave in the first place. The environment, culture, projects and management will stay the same and six months down the line these problems will rear their head once again, pushing you back to the market.

When deciding to leave a company you must be fully confident in your reasons for wanting to leave (salary, work pressure, family/personal reasons, internal relationships, etc.) as this will enable you to make a fully informed decision to reject a counter offer or accept.

Last thing to mention is trust. When working with a consultant such as Annex’s recruitment consultants (we can’t speak for all consultants), learn to trust them and allow them to help you through this process, tell them your concerns ahead of this potential counter (holidays booked, salary expectations, commute times) so that they can mitigate these fears. Annex recruitment consultants pride themselves in the work they do and have a genuine interest in the people they place. We all go out of our way to place candidates where they want to be and do not see recruitment as transactional but as a life-changing process.

Below is a recent case study I have written about on LinkedIn:

I have recently placed a candidate who nearly missed out on an amazing opportunity (one of many) because she felt her potential new company would not honor some holidays she had already booked ahead of looking for a new role (which she hadn’t mentioned). She emailed me to say she would not be taking the role with little or no explanation, only that she accepted a counter offer and thanked me for my time. Most consultants would leave it at that, but I’ve seen this happen many times and have seen people fall back into a role that they wanted to leave with the problems staying the same. They do this all for a little extra cash only to call me six months later.

I emailed her (couldn’t get her on the phone) a very consultative email with an amazing LinkedIn article (written by a HR director so very unbiased) on the lure of counter offers and when I got her on the phone we ran through all the small but meaningful things she was afraid to bring up with me as it was her first time using a recruiter. Once we got all of this on the table I was able to speak to my client and get all the matters addressed. She was so happy and thanked me so much for following up with her and not leaving it be. She really wanted to go to said client and apologized for not being upfront from the start.


About the Author

Aaron’s started with Annex in September 2017 after a long journey from the Emerald Isle (Ireland). Aaron comes from many years of recruitment experience where he specialized in placing engineers into highly regulated industries such as the Medical Device industry. Aaron’s degree in Business and International Business lead him to many places and has lived in The Netherlands, Italy, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and finally here in Vancouver. He believes that this broad experience across multiple cultures is why he has excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to understand and communicate effectively. Contact Aaron by email at or by phone at 604.638.8876.

About Annex

Annex is an IT recruitment and solutions company. Contract services include custom software development, project management, business analysis, infrastructure and management consulting. We have completed 1,700 projects for 330 different clients since 1998. We have an industry leading 97% client satisfaction rating across all completed projects. 

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