Beating counteroffer competition to secure talent: A best practice for managing ‘The Long Goodbye’

Beating counteroffer competition to secure talent: A best practice for managing ‘The Long Goodbye’

Back to Client Advice Insights

It’s not just the ferocious competition between hiring companies that makes securing talent so tough right now, with longer notice periods and competing against aggressive counteroffers becoming the new norm.

We’ve got a best practice you can follow to help you effectively manage ‘The Long Goodbye’.

Our clients, like so many companies, are fighting to attract and secure talent, making us all aware more than ever that our people are one of our greatest assets. Investing time, energy, and tactics into getting the full recruitment process right is critical to ensuring success in securing the talent you need.

Stats show that 89% of people who accept a counteroffer are highly likely to still leave within 6 months, but aggressive counteroffers are still the most prolific retention strategy in the market now.

It makes sense for a current employer to offer the world to a potential leaver, even if they only stay 6 more months because it buys them time and delays the immediate pain and costs of losing them.

As career consultancy partners we are very used to directing our advice and guidance to candidates on counter offers, making sure they understand the motivations behind them. We ask them to consider how they might react and the potential implications and later ramifications on their career. But equally as important is for hiring companies to plan and prepare for the counteroffer well before an offer is even made.


At Eligo we work hard with our clients to build a strategic recruitment plan to establish the optimal hiring process at every step of the way. We ensure our clients have the competitive edge to secure the best talent in the market, even in the face of competing against attractive counter offers.

So, what are some of the things you can do to help you secure the talent you want and need?


Best Practice on managing the long goodbye

It starts long before you make an offer of employment…

Understanding Candidate Motivations

The first person in the recruitment process whether that be the manager, or internal or external recruiter, needs to understand the real motivation for why the candidate wants to leave their current role. This will ensure you are able to match the relevant aspects of your opportunity to them and identify any potential for them to accept a counteroffer.


Job Specification

It needs to be good! Too often job specs are produced simply to provide a list of responsibilities and desired skills, but this is not what is going to excite the candidate and feel like they want to work with you. You need to sell the opportunity from the start and include details on the main areas of interest of the candidate;

A clear salary bracket, training & personal development available, if flexible/remote working is available, the company culture, the stability & growth of the company, benefits, and perks.

The key is to include a tangible reason why someone should want to work for you, making it all about the opportunity, benefits, and impact on the candidate, not just what you want from them!


Company Culture & Colleagues

People are feeling less engaged remotely so through the interview process they need to know what the culture of the company is like and who they will be working with. Can they meet the team before they even accept the role? This will give them insight into who they will be working with and if they will be a good fit. Think about your own employer branding, what are they going to see, read and feel from your website, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, office vibe, and even the welcome from your receptionist. Read more on how to showcase your employer branding here.



The days of grilling multiple candidates and simply choosing your favourite are gone. Yes, you need to assess their ability and fit for the role but building rapport is also key. We recommend you plan how and when in the interview you are going to explain and sell the opportunity. It is advisable to choose the right person for this, not everyone’s passion is easily communicated and able to inspire and captivate others. You want to share examples of recent success, or employees who have progressed from this position, growth plans in the team, your values, how you reward and appreciate staff, etc.


At Eligo we have even introduced personalised presentations for candidates who reach 2nd interview stage, so we can run them through where they will fit in the business, how they can/will progress, what rewards and benefits they will receive, etc. We have found this process is really appreciated and has increased our offer acceptance rates, particularly when competing against other strong offers.


Steps for a successful offer process to compete with aggressive counteroffers


Go big or go home

Be prepared to make an impressive offer that says “we want you and we know your worth”, companies often want to secure people at the ‘best’ price possible but this can end up in a bidding war and reduce the chances of being successful.


Time kills deals

Get the contract out to the candidate as soon as possible, they may have follow-up questions, so be prompt with responses too to help keep them invested.


Make them part of the team immediately

Communication from the start is key. Ensure someone from the business will reach out to the candidate to welcome them, this could be the hiring manager, HR, or team leader and could be just after the contract is issued.


Help them get comfortable with the unknown

Confirm start date and expectations for either remote working or being present onsite. Talk them through what the onboarding process will involve, what their first few days will look like etc.

What to keep in mind post offer to secure talent


Make them feel included from the start

Include them in internal socials, invite them to the work slack channel/messaging platform or invite them to one of the internal team calls to introduce them to the team they will be working with. This will give an insight into things they will be working on, and make them feel welcomed and one of the team before starting.


Stay in touch

Plan regular touch points with them throughout their notice period to keep them engaged and to check for any signs of a wobble. This could be shared between several members of the team, (colleagues, management, and HR) and could be a combination of calls, emails, messages, meetings, etc.


Set them up for success

Set a date for equipment, tech & welcome package to be ready for the candidate. You want to make sure they have everything they need, and to meet expectations of what tools they will be given. This should help start on a positive note and avoid any tech issues arising during onboarding.


Using the long goodbye to your advantage

At Eligo we’re committed to listening to the candidates we connect with, and this means checking in with them through each stage of the process from interview to placement offer. For the clients we work with, we expect the same commitment from their side to secure a successful placement.

Longer notice periods and aggressive counteroffers can be a hindrance to the attraction and securing of new talent for businesses, but by having the right steps in place from the job application and interview process through to the offer and post-offer stage, you are more likely to see placement success and a happy growing workforce.

Need further advice or support with competing in the competitive talent market, attracting, and securing the talent you need? Get in touch with us at to see how we could help.