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Headhunter Hints: How to make a counter offer


Do you know how to make a counter offer after you receive an offer of employment?


When you’re made an offer for employment, regardless if it’s very high in comparison to what you were hoping for, or very low in comparison to what you’re hoping for, try to be gracious and thankful. Show appreciation for getting that offer. And then, let them know that you need 24 hours, 48 hours–I wouldn’t go longer than 72 hours–depending on the level of role, to respond. (C-Suite can go a little bit longer than that).


What you are doing basically is allowing them to feel that they’ve made a good decision and they’ve made the offer to the right person.





So many times people don’t say thank you and right away they start countering. There’s nothing wrong with asking for more money, or more vacation or whatever the case may be but it’s all about timing. You want to make sure that you’re gracious, you’re thankful.


Then, take time to sit down and actually review the full offer. Look at their benefits. What’s their time-off look like? Retirement? Look closely at whatever is most important to you.


After you have had the opportunity to review the full offer in depth, compile a list of reasons why you require more money (or vacation, etc) and be willing to provide examples. For example, I hit my sales goals the last five years in a row I was over plan by X amount. I’m confident that I can do the same for you.


When you come back to them again, you’re gracious. “Thank you so much, I can’t tell you how excited I am about the opportunity. There are few things I want to run by you in the compensation package and see if there is any flexibility in these areas”.


You’re succinct. You’re respectful and you’re factual. While offering details about your background and why you deserve more money than they’ve offered.


Now keep in mind any time you counter offer, there is that risk of them coming back and saying “sorry the offer is what the offer is”.


There’s nothing wrong with making a well-reasoned counter-offer. In fact, if a company gets upset with you for making a counter offer and rescinds the offer of employment, I’d probably be a little concerned about the culture there.


But, I have seen people come back with such an outrageously large number that they counter with, that the employer kind of throws up their hands and says, “I feel like they weren’t even listening during the interview process, we talked about compensation.”


Be sure that it all makes sense. Make sure you’re talking about compensation throughout the interview process and that way you should know what the offer is going to be, and whether it makes sense to continue through the process.

Looking for more Headhunter Hints? Check out the blog on Gehl Search Partners or our YouTube channel for more recruiter tips.