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Let's talk about back offers

First off we have a confession.

Confession sign







We have made back offers on a few of occasions at Focus over the years.  And sometimes people have stayed, but in every instance within a year, they have left.  And that is the nub of the point. 


Getting a back offer to remain is undoubtedly a compliment and is absolutely worthy of a pause in the process.  But if you had raised your frustrations in the normal way over the previous months and it has come to a resignation to elicit a response, one has to feel it is all a bit late in the day and perhaps a sticking plaster over a bigger issue. 


Over the 30 years of our trading we have seen a fair few back offers coming in to candidates we have offers for, and quite right too. If we are approaching and helping to select the best talent, organisations are loathed to let them go.  We see a back offer as a compliment to our selection process. 


But time for the elephant in the room... Elephant in a meeting room

image source: forbes.com

We are of course financially implicated in a deal progressing.  And it is a real kick when perhaps three months of work gets to this stage.  But we believe in presenting objective facts to help a candidate and client make the right decision.  Trying to "strong arm" people isn’t our approach and quite frankly we don’t believe it works and would in fact push the candidate away from the dialogue.


What we recommend is going back to what made you, the candidate, accept the interview in the first place, what made you excited about the second interview and anticipate the offer.


Our job at Focus, once we understand a client and brief, identify appropriate candidates, is to make someone happier with the presented opportunity than they are with their current role.  We expect most of our placements are content in their current role when we approach them.   So, we ask you to bring objectivity to the decision.


Now if you are actively looking to move on, the same thought process applies.  Be objective about your reasons and what you wanted from a move.  What has changed for you to stay?


Goodness knows we all understand at the moment every pound is important, with the ill wind of Covid careening across our economy.  But is it ALL about £££?  We always like to break it down and we would ask you to do the same. So, time for a scenario;  


Congratulations reader of this article, you have just got a £10,000 pay rise to stay in your job, against a £5,000 increase to move.  Your boss will be the same, hours, terms, and role yep all the same – which was the reason for considering the move.  Just challenge the rational.


And now the math.

Martin Lewis

image source: ITV

So, let’s look at the £5,000 net difference and without sounding like the lovely Martin Lewis.  The net difference (tax bands being averaged) is £12 a day extra.  £12 to accept all the frustrations you had previously…. just saying.


Now, it is a well-known proverb it's better the devil you know.  But if you have interviewed properly and have been shown and digested information about the new employer and your line boss then, you are not entering the dark.  Equally, it does no harm to consider asking to return to the offering company for reassurance and a frank debate about any concerns that might have surfaced as a consequence of the back offer.


One thing though that is essential, you remain calm, objective and in communication.  There is nothing that gets the back up of a future employer and indeed Team Focus like when you decide the best approach is to go AWOL. 

mans hands using a mobile








Even a text, email or WhatsApp to explain you need a day to debate and consider things, this helps us mange client expectations.  We have had offers withdrawn due to radio silence.  Embarrassing when eventually the candidate resurfaces saying they are happy to accept.  Keep in touch we are here to help not hinder.


So, in Conclusion


  • Be very clear why you wanted to progress in the selection process, what you wanted from it and what wasn’t offered in your current role
  • Revert back to the wish list if you have a doubt
  • Seek clarification is there are areas you don’t feel clear about
  • Most importantly keep in touch throughout the process


We would be delighted to hear your views on this topic, perhaps you have made a back offer and we would be interested to hear if it worked out.


Alternatively, if you accepted and then moved on in a relatively short time, it would be good to know what the reason was.


We look forward to your feedback


Team Focus