How to Determine If a Candidate Will Get a Counteroffer

Finding the perfect candidate is never easy, so it’s always frustrating when your top choice receives a counteroffer from their current employer. In May, our Candidates With Counteroffers post discussed how to progress when your soon-to-be new hire is presented with a counteroffer.


How to Determine If a Candidate Will Get a Counteroffer

Today, we’re taking it a step further by sharing questions to ask during the interview to help determine whether the person will get a counteroffer, and what they are likely to say if it happens. Unfortunately, some people seek external offers as a ploy to get their current employer to give them more money, so you want to steer clear of these candidates at all costs.

Use these questions to find a candidate who is truly ready to move on, regardless of any enticing obstacles thrown their way.

Why are you looking to leave your current job?

The candidate’s motives for wanting to move on from their current position is everything. If the person cites a career-oriented reason, such as lack of room for growth at their employer, a poor fit in their current company culture, or a desire to move into a different line of work, you can feel confident they’re motivated by the right reasons. Conversely, anyone who expresses financial motives or disappointment at being passed up for a recent promotion could easily be swayed to accept a counteroffer that satisfies their grievances.

If your current employer offered you a $25,000 raise to stay, would you?

A more direct approach to the first question, this is a quick way to find out if the candidate is only on the job market for more money. Steer clear of anyone who has trouble responding to this inquiry or honestly admits they only want a bigger salary, as they’re clearly not in it for the right reasons. Not only are you at a huge risk for losing the person to a counteroffer, you also want to hire someone passionate about the work, not the paycheck.

What usually happens when an employee resigns from the company?

The candidate’s current employer might be in the habit of extending counteroffers to valued employees, so this is a stealthy way to get a heads up. If the person does admit counteroffers are typically issued, ask flat out if they would consider accepting one, and if so, on what terms. Disqualifying the candidate just because they might receive a counteroffer is unfair, but if they’re even thinking about taking it, move on to the next person.

How much notice would you need to give your current employer?

Standard resignation protocol calls for employees to give two weeks’ notice, and many opt to take another week or two to relax before starting their new venture. If the person is unable to start work for more than a month, consider this a red flag. Unless they have a really good explanation for the delayed departure, there’s a good chance they’re hoping to get a counteroffer and want as much time as possible to make it happen.

There’s never a sure way to predict whether a candidate will receive a counteroffer and how they will react to it, but these questions will allow you to better gauge their mindset. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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