There are few things more frustrating for companies than investing months in an executive search only to have it fall apart at the end when the prime candidate accepts a counteroffer. Preventing the possibility of successful counteroffers requires intense focus and a strategy designed to maintain the integrity of a fully transparent engagement with the candidate throughout the process. In this blog, we discuss best practices for securing top talent who might otherwise be tempted to accept a counteroffer.

Custom Build the Hiring Team

Don’t use a standard template for executive candidate interviews. Custom build each hiring team based on the position and its responsibilities and on the strengths that each team member brings to the table. Ensure that the hiring team is composed of brand ambassadors who will help attract the best candidates for the role and represent the company in a way that excites the candidates for the opportunity at hand. Take a holistic approach to ensure that the team effectively covers the entire scope of issues that need to be addressed before an offer can be tendered.

Set Clear Expectations

From the initial contact, it is important to set clear expectations. Both the hiring team and candidates must be on the same page as to the sequence of interviews and timelines. It is also incumbent upon the hiring team to clearly articulate the role. Outline what the position entails, including specific responsibilities, reporting structure, performance metrics, growth opportunities, and challenges. This clarity eliminates ambiguities and cultivates trust, both of which are key to driving candidate interest in an executive role.

Maintain Consistent and Timely Communication

Consistent communication is crucial for keeping candidates engaged. Provide timely status updates to keep candidates in the loop and demonstrate that your team values their time and attention. Regular communication is also an effective way for the hiring team to keep the candidate’s interest level high, and to intervene quickly if their interest level drops.

Keep the Process Moving

Aside from clearly understanding the candidate’s true motivations, the hiring team must also keep the process moving forward. Unnecessary delays open the door for a candidate to recommit to their current employer and increase the potential for a successful counteroffer. Hiring teams must be prepared to act quickly when the candidate is right for the company and the position. Don’t drag out the process for the sake of process.

Demonstrate Professionalism and Respect

Throughout the recruiting process, it is imperative to treat all candidates with respect and professionalism. Doing so could tilt the scale in favor of accepting your offer and rejecting a counteroffer. Also, even if they may not be the right fit for the current opportunity, they might be an ideal pick for a future role. Providing candidates with prompt and constructive feedback after interviews can significantly and positively influence their perception of your company and how that perception reaches other industry professionals.

Address Concerns and Questions

Maintain a relationship in which candidates feel comfortable voicing their concerns and asking questions. Always encourage this dialogue and address any issues quickly and transparently. Clarifying a candidate’s doubts promptly can steer them away from considering a counteroffer.


Custom-building your hiring team based on the specific candidate and role is a critical first step toward developing an effective and fully transparent interview process that will glean the essential information leadership needs to make an informed decision. Members of the hiring team need to ask thoughtful questions to truly gauge the candidate’s motivations and drivers. Communicate regularly to help ensure the candidate remains engaged. The hiring team must also push things along so that the recruiting process continues to progress, and leadership must close the deal when all the pieces are in place. Keeping the candidate waiting will only enhance the possibility of a successful counteroffer.