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