Crazy counter-offer illustrates extreme hiring conditions

As reported both nationally and internationally the job market currently is unlike any that we have seen for some time with vacancies at record levels and starting salaries rising to reflect a shortage of good candidates.

This is due to a perfect storm of Covid, Brexit and the Ukraine war all adversely affecting Supply Chains and ultimately the job market.

We have all heard that many companies are struggling to recruit but critically now more than ever they cannot afford to lose a key performer as it literally could take months to replace them. 

Prior to early 2020 in a ‘normal market’ once a candidate accepted a formal offer and resigned then in most sectors the deal was done and a company could expect the person to start……

Well not anymore……………companies are literally throwing the kitchen sink at key people in an attempt to retain them.

In fact, we have seen almost as many counter offers in the last year as we have in the previous five years. We have also seen an increase in people leaving organisations within weeks of starting due to a ‘better’ offer elsewhere coming through.

In fact, earlier this year had the most thought-stopping counter offer I (or my colleagues) have ever seen in over 20 years of ‘recruiting’. 

Here’s what happened: 

  • We approached a candidate for a role who was on £60k plus commission.

  • Our client offered him £85k plus car commission and £5k guarantee for 2 quarters so his salary in effect was £100k and he accepted as it was an excellent upgrade in package and opportunity.

  • His MD and CFO refused to accept his resignation. They both individually met with him, discussed their plans for the business and asked for his input on strategy and how it could change to his benefit. They also put in place a number of development opportunities and gave him a team leader remit.

  • They ultimately made a series of counters offers resulting in him being offered a Head of role at £110k plus 2 x OTE commission (inc £25k guaranteed) and restructured the team around him.

Let’s look at that again. 

The CEO and CFO decided losing this person was such a problem they got personally involved and both emotionally and financially did everything to keep him.

They restructured the team and the strategy and gave him an 83% rise in base salary and further 40% in commission plus a promotion to ensure they didn’t lose him.

He will earn £135k this year guaranteed, against £60k before…….

This is how much companies are trying to keep people right now!

Peter Brophy 

VP Digital Procurement and Supply Chain

+44 (0) 7908 440 520

Video – Four things great hiring organisations do to attract talent

There’s a real skills shortage at present, so how do you give yourself the best chance of hiring great talent?

In this short video, Andrew shares his experiences of what he has seen from companies that consistently win when it comes to competing for great people.

It covers go-to-market strategy, a range of sourcing approaches, and other key factors that can make a big difference in a competitive market for talent.

Click this link for immediate access.

Case Study: Interim Management

The Brief

A niche procurement consultancy specialising in Category Management was working with a manufacturing client to affect a major transformation process in how it approached its indirect spend.  They needed experienced interim procurement professionals capable of engaging key stakeholders in important categories. Having worked with Edbury Daley in similar circumstances before, the consultancy recommended us to their client.

The Challenge

The company had a limited budget but needed to hire quality people on day rates to get the requisite experience into the business quickly. The company was based in a location that wasn’t known for the depth of local procurement talent and there was pressure to deliver savings and process improvements quickly. Added to this was the interim market was busy at the time meaning there wasn’t a lot of spare capacity.

The Solution

Edbury Daley utilised all their recruitment methods and sources to find suitable people who were available quickly. This included proven interim professionals used on previous projects and new candidates sourced through seeking recommendations from trusted network sources. In addition, new candidates sourced via online advertising campaigns were quickly and thoroughly vetted by Edbury Daley’s consultants and shortlisted appropriately.

The Result

Six interim professionals were hired in less than a month, all of them individually interviewed by Edbury Daley and the client to ensure they were of the desired standard.

Case Study: Talent Mapping

The Client

An international multi disciplinary consultancy looking to build on its growing presence in the UK procurement and supply chain sector.

The Challenge

Their limited track record in the sector gave them a relatively low profile as a potential employer so they were struggling to hire specific skill sets, particularly in competition with established major players players. A shortage of available talent in procurement and supply chain consulting generally and market conditions meant that the market rate was out of kilter with their existing salary bands.

We recommended a detailed Talent Mapping exercise because it offered the following:

  • Thorough audit of the relevant market
  • Detailed analysis of all competitors
  • Accurate up to date evidence of what the market rate for various skill sets was
  • It enabled us to begin a marketing awareness campaign amongst the relevant talent pool

How Did It Solve The Problems?

The mapping exercise enabled us to identify ‘value’ in the market and focus on affordable candidates. We acted at the ‘front line’ for selling careers with our client making them a more desirable employer and this helped develop a clear Talent Attraction strategy to suit prevailing  market conditions. We also identified alternative talent pools through detailed research.


Ultimately the process enabled us to create a Talent Pipeline of candidates for interview over three months as the client looked to hire several people in response to a number of new client projects. By providing accurate evidence of market rate salaries, the client was able to adapt its current grades and make a more informed choice on whether candidates were worth their salary expectations.

They interviewed candidates from more established players in the market who might not have previously considered our client as a potential employer and hired all the people they needed and have a clear idea of who they might consider for their future.


Talent Mapping and Pipelining are not necessarily new concepts in recruitment, however many companies have previously found them to be a disappointment as recruiters have often oversold and under delivered to HR and line managers. We have worked closely with a handful of valued clients to develop our offering in this area. By only working in the markets we know intimately and constantly refining our techniques we have been able to make a real difference for our clients.

Case Study: Contingency Search


Years of making business critical appointments for his clients has given Andrew Daley the experience, knowledge and network required to fill roles that other recruiters aren’t able to. There are a wide range of things that he does that make the difference for both recruiting companies and experienced professionals who seek his guidance when looking for their next career opportunity.

Here’s a simple but powerful example.

Andrew was invited by one of his customers to attend an industry event late in 2016 as a thank you for his contribution to their hiring efforts throughout that year. He was sat with a number of their customers, many of whom he had never met, and spent much of the evening answering their questions about hiring people and how to look for that next career opportunity.

Roughly six months later Andrew was contacted by one of the people he met that night. This person had decided to look for a new role and wanted some guidance on how to find a suitably attractive opportunity.

This person had a relatively rare skill set centred around maximising the use of spend management technology for a FTSE 100 business in areas like eProcurement, spend analytics and P2P. The issue he faced was that so few organisations were hiring for the exact skill set he offered, and he wasn’t sure if he would be able to make the transition to consulting or working in a client facing role for a solution provider.

Over the course of the next few months Andrew spoke to several organisations about this person. A lot of organisations said they would love to hire this skill set, but weren’t at a stage where they were advanced enough in their use of procurement technology to justify it.

Throughout this period Andrew kept in regular contact with the job seeker, updating them on what was going on in the market and discussing possible solutions to his desire to advance his career.

Late in 2017 a major procurement technology provider contacted Andrew with a challenging brief. They wanted to make two important hires into their customer success team. Critical factors for these appointments were the need to have experience of developing best practice in the use of procurement technology. They wanted to put people in front of their customers who could say: “I’ve been where you are, I understand where you want to get to, the challenges you will face, the business transformation required to achieve your objectives.”

Andrew’s first call about this role was to the aforementioned candidate because he immediately knew that person had the requisite skill set and would jump at the chance to go for this role.

The candidate is about to join the client – both parties are very happy with the outcome. The second role has also been filled with another person offering similar skills that the Edbury Daley team found through researching the appropriate talent pool.

What does this tell you about how Edbury Daley operates?

  • We network extensively across our target markets
  • We communicate regularly and effectively across our network to maintain a strong reputation
  • We build excellent working relationships, trust and confidence with key people
  • We’re able to find rare skill sets for our clients quickly and accurately
  • We put high quality, relevant people in front of our clients

Case Study: Executive Search

The Brief

To recruit a European Supply Chain Director for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company based at one of five offices located across Europe. The desired skill set included identifying a proven functional leader with experience of delivering major supply chain transformation across a multi-site business.

The Challenge

Researching five separate regional talent pools in France, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the UK, Edbury Daley needed to identify candidates with a very specific track record of driving successful business change. In addition, Edbury Daley also needed to act as brand ambassadors for a business with a low profile in Europe and coordinate a selection process involving multiple senior managers spread across Europe and America.

The Solution

In order to generate genuine interest in the position, Edbury Daley worked closely with the Regional HR Director and European VP of Operations to develop a compelling candidate “pitch”. There then followed a detailed search of each relevant geographical area for relevant candidates.

Once a shortlist was identified, Edbury Daley used online interviewing tools to record initial interviews enabling all senior managers in the recruiting process to assess the candidates. Final stage interviews were organised for all relevant candidates in one location by Edbury Daley, enabling multiple senior managers to access the process.

The Result

An outstanding candidate was appointed in Italy and a very strong back up candidate was available in Germany had the preferred candidate not accepted the offer for any reason. Edbury Daley worked closely with the client to design a solution and process geared towards their specific business criteria and desired outcome. Using all their experience and knowledge of the market to assemble an outstanding shortlist of candidates, Edbury Daley managed the process in a manner that maximised the probability of the desired outcome.

Case Study: Recruiting in Mexico City

Blog - Mexico City


International Banking Group


Category Manager, Latin America region


The client needed to make a vital appointment for a key area of indirect spend as part of their transformation project to develop a truly international procurement capability.

The role had been vacant for several months and was becoming an urgent requirement despite the best efforts of local agencies and the in house recruitment/HR teams.  The UK based hiring manager needed some fresh impetus in the process, ideally in the form of stronger candidates to consider and discussed the problem with us.

Despite us never having worked on roles in Mexico before, we were very confident that we would identify the most relevant candidates in the area quickly based on our previous success in other new locations and the transferability of our core recruitment methods.

Our Approach

Edbury Daley’s Head of Research, Raluca Pirvu ( an experienced international recruiter who is fluent in four languages) then worked closely with Andrew Daley to quickly assess the local talent pool and define a suitable strategy to identify and target the most relevant candidates for the role in question.

Our process included the following tools and techniques:

  • Conducted an initial assessment of the local talent pool using our global database and online research tools.
  • Using our in depth knowledge of the best international sourcing teams, we identified several target organisations to prioritise as part of our research for suitable candidates.
  • We spoke to trusted contacts in our existing network to seek recommendations and local market knowledge. e.g. our contacts in North America recommended current and former colleagues in South America.
  • We researched the cultural differences in the local recruitment market to understand how best to approach the most relevant candidates.
  • We prioritised six stand out candidates and engaged with them via e mail in the first instance due to the time differences.  We also approached four additional candidates with very relevant experience.
  • Any candidates that didn’t respond to our initial communication were followed up within 48 hours and where necessary a third time 48 hours later, resulting in all ten responding to our approaches.
  • Video and telephone interviews were arranged with the best candidates to assess their suitability, affordability and interest in the role.
  • All the relevant information was passed to the UK based hiring manager and local HR teams for them to assess and decide who they wished to prioritise for interviews.
  • We then liased with the clients HR team throughout the recruitment process providing the same level of support that we do with all of our work, in order to maximise the likelihood of the chosen candidate accepting our client’s offer of employment.

The successful candidate is now working her notice period before joining our client and her feedback on the guidance and support we provided to her is the source of great professional pride to our team here.

The key reasons why we have delivered effectively for our client on this and many other similar projects is that we know our markets intimately, we research any new geographical areas thoroughly, and then apply our tried and tested recruitment processes using all of our skill, tenacity and experience.


Case Study: Procurement Consulting Senior Management Appointment

Why did our client need us?

They are a niche middle tier procurement consultancy requiring a very high calibre board level appointment to drive forward their business development activities. The position is critical to enable the business to move on the next stage in their growth plan. Good wasn’t good enough, the business needed an outstanding candidate

How did we approach the assignment?

To ensure a very high quality shortlist we needed to make sure the best talent wasn’t overlooked so we compiled an extensive long list of competitor companies.

Using our comprehensive market knowledge we identified over 20 relevant organisations where the strongest candidates were likely to be found within 24 hours of campaign sign off.

We then used our network and outstanding research capability to identify and assess the most relevant people in each of those organisations.

In a particularly competitive sector, we needed to make sure we sold the opportunity to the strongest candidates so we met  each of the key decision makers in the business to cover every detail ranging from culture fit to the key factors required to attract the best available talent.

Time was of the essence as the client was eager to appoint to help move the business forward. Our specialist procurement knowledge enabled us to get the client from sign off to shortlist in 23 working days by getting quickly to the relevant candidate pool.

What was the outcome?

Initial shortlist interviews were successful producing the desired number of candidates (2) for 2nd interview stage.  The overall quality of the shortlist was noted by the client and provided strong evidence that we had conducted a thorough assessment of the defined target companies.

Our client successfully appointed a candidate with a wealth of consultancy experience from a larger competitor. The entire process took just 12 weeks from inception to completion despite busy diaries for all concerned. The majority of our fee was contingent upon successful completion of the assignment.