Responding To a Candidate’s Counter Offer: Tips & Examples

May 26, 2022
Posted in Recruiting
May 26, 2022 Recruiterie

It’s not uncommon for employers to receive a counter offer from candidates they’ve extended a job offer to. While it’s flattering to know that the candidate is interested in working for your company, it’s important to respond to a counter offer carefully and thoughtfully.

Should you reject the candidate outright? Should you try to negotiate? What are some best practices for employer responses? This article discusses some tips and examples for employer responses to candidate counter offers.

What Does a Counter Offer Look Like?

A counter offer from a candidate will typically involve one or more of the following:

  • A higher salary
  • More vacation days
  • A better title or position
  • Better benefits
  • A shorter commute

In some cases, the employer may be able to meet the candidate’s requests, but there will be situations when the request cannot be accommodated. It’s important to consider each counter offer on a case-by-case basis.

Rejecting the Counter Offer Outright

There are a few instances where it may make sense to reject the candidate’s counter offer outright. These include when:

  • The employer cannot match the counter offer: If the candidate is requesting a salary that is significantly higher than what the employer is able to pay, it may be sensible to reject the request outright.
  • The employer has already made plans for the position: The employer may have already made plans for the position (for example, if they have extended offers to other candidates). In these cases, it may not make sense to keep the position open for the candidate who has made a counter offer.
  • The employer does not want to negotiate: This is often the case when the employer feels that they have already made a fair offer.

Renegotiating the Counter Offer

There are also a few instances where it may make sense for the employer to renegotiate. These include when:

  • The employer is able to match the counter offer: If such is the case, it may make sense to try to negotiate with the candidate. This way, both parties can come to an agreement that works for them.
  • The employer wants to keep the position open: This often happens when the employer feels that the candidate is a good fit for the role. In these cases, the employer may want to try to negotiate with the candidate in order to keep them interested in the position.

Best Practices for Responding To a Counter Offer

  • Be prompt: It’s important to respond to a counter offer as soon as possible. This way, the employer can make a decision that is in the best interests of the company.
  • Be clear: If the employer decides to renegotiate the counter offer, they should be specific about what they are willing to negotiate and make sure that the candidate understands each point before coming to an agreement.
  • Be professional: Regardless of the employer’s decision, it’s important to remain professional. This is often tricky when dealing with emotions like disappointment or frustration. However, it’s important to remember that the candidate is making a business decision and not a personal one.

Sample Counter Offer Letters To Employees

Not sure how to respond to a counter offer? Here are some templates you can start with:

Rejecting the counter offer outright

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining our company. We appreciate the time and effort you have put into the application process. After careful consideration, we have decided to decline your request. Thank you for your time, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Employer

Renegotiating the counter offer

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining our company. We appreciate the time and effort you have put into the application process. After careful consideration, we have decided to renegotiate your counter offer.

We can offer you a salary of $ [X] per year. In addition, we are also willing to provide you with a signing bonus of $ [X]. We hope that this offer is acceptable to you, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Employer

Accepting the counter offer

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining our company. We appreciate the time and effort you have put into the application process. After careful consideration, we have decided to accept your counter offer.

We are happy to match your salary request of $ [X] per year. In addition, we are also willing to provide you with a signing bonus of $ [X]. We hope that this offer is acceptable to you, and we look forward to welcoming you to our team.

Sincerely,

Employer

Employer Response To Counter Offers: FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about how to respond to a counter offer from a job applicant:

How do I rescind the offer if necessary?

If you need to rescind or withdraw the offer, you should do so in a professional and courteous manner. You can use the following template as a guide:

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining our company. We appreciate the time and effort you have put into the application process. After careful consideration, we have decided to rescind our offer of employment. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Employer

What do I do when the budget does not allow for fulfilling the counter offer?

If the budget does not allow for fulfilling the counter offer, you should be honest with the candidate. You can use the following template as a guide:

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in joining our company. We appreciate the time and effort you have put into the application process. After careful consideration, we have decided that we are unable to meet your salary request of $ XX,XXX per year.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Employer

How long is a reasonable time to respond to an employee’s counter offer?

A reasonable amount of time to respond to a counter offer is within 24-48 hours. This allows the employer to make a well-informed decision and also shows respect for the candidate’s time. It might take a few days in certain situations, like when a budget needs to be approved. In this case, it is best to inform the candidate that you are still considering the counter offer and will get back to them as soon as possible.

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