When Should You Counter-offer A Job Offer

Today's job seekers have the upper hand when selecting an organisation to work for. With the Office for National Statistics reporting that there are currently 4.2 vacancies per 100 jobs in the UK [1], it is clear that the marketing, digital, PR and sales job market is more competitive than ever before. This means that now is the right time to engage in salary negotiation if you receive a job offer that isn't quite good enough. 


What is a counter-offer? 

A counter-offer is a scenario in which a candidate requests an increase in salary or other benefits from an organisation that has offered them a job. 


Why would you make a counter-offer? 

In the majority of cases, the salary or salary band is advertised at the outset, so the presumption is that by applying for that role, you are happy to accept that salary. 


However, some employers do not disclose salary, or the indicated salary band is sufficiently broad that you may be happy with accepting a salary towards the higher end but not the lower. 


Perhaps the job is paying less than the industry standard, or you have additional skills, qualifications or experience that make an otherwise ideal job less financially attractive. 


You may discover that the full benefits package is not explained at the job advert stage and that further information becomes available through the recruitment process, which makes the listed salary seem less attractive. For example, if a job is otherwise perfect but requires frequent travel, doesn't offer flexible working, or offers fewer paid holiday days than expected, it is worth negotiating for a higher salary as compensation. 

These are just a few examples of situations where you may decide to counter-offer upon receipt of a job offer. 


When should you make your counter-offer? 

While there are many marketing and PR roles available, there are also many skilled candidates seeking employment. Always wait until the organisation has decided that you are the best fit for them and made you a firm offer of employment before you consider making a counter-offer. Should you start negotiations whilst still in the interview process, you risk being passed over in favour of another candidate. 


The job offer will provide information relating to the role and responsibilities, hours, and benefits, including salary. This will provide all of the information you need to compare the offering against other organisations to determine whether it is appropriate. 


If it is comparable or better than most, consider whether you want to make a counter-offer. Only if you have valid reasons should you try to improve on a realistic offer, and if you do, ensure that you approach the negotiation with facts rather than emotions. 


If, however, the offer falls short for any reason, before engaging in negotiation, consider what you would be willing to accept and be confident that you are willing to walk away from the job should your counter-offer be rejected or the job offer rescinded. 


If you decide to issue a counter-offer, make sure that you ask for the top level of your ideal range, explaining clearly why you believe you are worthy of that salary but be prepared to negotiate down from there. If the job is otherwise perfect, it is often worth considering whether you would consider alternative benefits rather than an increase in the offered salary. 


Support and advice 

If you feel that you need expert advice to help take your career forwards, Reuben Sinclair is a market-leading recruitment specialist focusing on marketing, digital, PR and sales jobs, and we can help you to find your perfect position. We can support you in identifying your ideal role and offer advice and support on training, interviewing and career development. To get started, please contact us today. 


Contact info: 

Tel: 020 3826 1206, enquiries@reuben-sinclair.com