The challenge presented by the counter offer

The ongoing War for Talent is exacerbated by an increasing number of high performers watching what happens next with both the global economy and local uncertainties (for example, Brexit in the UK) before making a move.

The good news is there remain some who are open to a targeted approach from the right headhunters and will go through a comprehensive recruitment process expressing genuine interest…yet say no at offer stage.

They’ve been tempted to stay with their current employer comfortable in existing surroundings – including a line manager they know and trust.

They stay put for various reasons but another could be the disruption caused by change and in the current climate, the associated risk of being more exposed should it not work out.

An experienced and capable external executive recruiter will have strong communication and effective PM skills and will be well placed to minimise this but it remains a risk.


  • What might be the impact of focusing recruitment effort toward identifying growth mindset executives? They will be much less likely to take the easy option and will be more hungry for new challenges and the development opportunities that you might be able to offer them. Beyond that, as Carol Dweck identified, these individuals are the ones who will make the biggest positive impact for an organisation and the people who report into them (a future blog will explore this concept further!).
  • Including an “Onboarding Coaching” service as part of an offer of employment. Forming a valuable component within your overall induction programme, it might also minimise the likelihood of this frustrating outcome at the conclusion of a process. Providing an exceptional coach will guide the new hire through the transition, onboarding them and embracing the challenge, change and opportunities ahead. Committing to doing so and effectively communicating about it at various stages of the recruitment process will also provide a level of comfort that just might make the difference when your candidate faces the tough decision of a counter-offer!

Note: NJR are able to provide clients with access to a variety of executive coaches, each with a slightly different approach – some of whom have an elite sport background and bring that high performance mindset to their interactions, whilst others might focus more on specific aspects of executive performance, such as the importance of emotional intelligence. 

“Onboarding Coaching” has the additional benefits of bringing new hires up to speed in role and into the organisation more effectively (strengthening organisational commitment via the psychological contract), delivering results more quickly, improving future retention rates (in general, executives remain with a company longer having received this) and reducing the costly impact of executive attrition.

For further information on how to successfully manage counter offers, onboarding coaching and executive coaching please contact Daryl Stickland, Director at NJR: