It all comes down to supply and demand, and a significant skills shortage in the market has given employees more bargaining power than ever before.

In this blog we will look at the current situation surrounding counter offers in the UK, using real statistics from surveys conducted this year.

We will also offer some advice to both businesses looking to retain their staff and candidates navigating counter offers during their job search.

The Counter Offer Surge: The Statistics

The dynamics of the UK job market have shifted significantly over the last year, with counter offers becoming increasingly common. To shed light on this trend, let’s take a look at some real statistics collected through surveys conducted in 2023:

Counter Offers on the Rise:

A staggering 62% of surveyed employers reported that they have had to make counter offers to retain their employees in the past 12 months. This sharp increase is directly tied to the skill shortages in many industries.

Candidate Negotiation Power:

76% of respondents indicated that candidates have become more assertive in negotiating job offers. They are leveraging competing offers to their advantage, often pushing their current employers into offering higher salaries and better benefits.

Retention Challenges for Employers:

88% of businesses surveyed admitted that they find it increasingly challenging to retain their top talent. The cost of replacing employees and the disruption to workflow has spurred many employers to make counter offers as a last-ditch effort to keep valuable team members.

Advice for Businesses: How to Retain Your Staff

In the face of the counter offer conundrum, retaining your top talent is paramount. In reality there isn’t a quick fix, it’s about tuning into what’s happening in the wider market (and at the moment those things are constantly changing).
However here are our top 5 strategies to consider for your business based on what candidates are telling us today.

1 – Competitive Salaries: Regularly review and adjust employee salaries to match market rates. This can proactively address the issue of counter offers by ensuring that your employees are paid fairly.

2 –  Invest in Professional Development: Provide opportunities for skill development and career growth within your organization. Employees are more likely to stay if they see a clear path for advancement.

3 – Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, to improve work-life balance and job satisfaction.

4 – Enhance Benefits Packages: Consider enhancing benefits packages with perks like health insurance, wellness programs, and additional leave options.

5 – Regular Feedback and Recognition: Provide regular feedback and recognition for employees’ contributions. Feeling valued and appreciated can significantly boost employee loyalty….and this one costs nothing either.

Advice for Candidates: Navigating the Counter Offer Situation

A counter offer can be flattering, but if you have got to the point of receiving one clearly something wasn’t right. So before you make your final decision here is our checklist to consider:

Why Are You Looking in The First Place:
Always ask yourself this question, sometimes when a counter offers is made you can forget the reason you started looking for a new job in the first place.

Reflect on Your Goals: Carefully consider whether the counter offer aligns with your long-term career goals and aspirations. It’s essential to make a decision that benefits your career in the long run….no point staying and then having to look again in 6 months.

Will Things Really Change: If you are going to turn down another offer you need to be sure things will change (and can change)…so try to get it confirmed in writing first.

Evaluate The Counter Offer: Think about the counter offer objectively, not just in terms of salary but also other benefits, work-life balance, and growth opportunities.

Seek Professional Advice: Speak to a mentor or recruitment consultant for guidance. They can provide valuable insights on the wider market and help you make an informed decision.


The surge in counter offers in the UK job market is a reflection of the current skills shortage and changing dynamics, and that is showing no signs of slowing down.

Businesses must adapt by focusing on employee retention strategies, while candidates must carefully evaluate counter offers in light of their career goals.

A pro-active approach whether you are a business looking at ways to avoid losing staff, or a candidate wanting to navigate their career is key…..don’t be caught on the back foot as that’s when the wrong decisions are made.



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