28/01/2015 - 17:28 pm

Employers counter offer to keeps engineering and construction workers

UK engineering and construction workers are far more likely to be offered a higher salary to remain in their existing jobs than other UK employees, according to new research from specialist recruiter Randstad CPE.

UK engineering and construction workers are twice as likely to be offered extra to stay in their job than finance professionals  – 21% now report counter-offers compared to 11% in finance. Counter-offers are said to be growing twice as fast in construction & engineering than across the rest of the UK workforce. However, counter-offers are thought to be an “admission of dishonesty” according to 62% of engineering and construction workers – and half 48% think they are ineffective.

One in five engineering and construction workers – moving jobs experience an improved offer from their existing employer, in an attempt to retain their skills. This is vastly more likely than for the general workforce. Across the whole UK just 8% of all employees see a similar behaviour from their employer.

This also means engineering and construction workers are twice as likely to experience a counter-offer as those in financial services; by contrast only 11% of those in finance were counter-offered last time they moved jobs. This is despite technology and IT workers experiencing counter-offers just as frequently.


Proportion counter-offered last time they moved jobs


Construction & Engineering            21%

Technology and IT                            21%

Finance                                               11%

Health & Social Care                         7%

Education                                           3%

UK Average                                        8%


Only 52% of engineering and construction and workers believe that counter-offers are a good retention tool. Moreover, in order for a counter-offer to be effective, engineering and construction workers would require a good price.  Workers in these industries would demand an average improvement of 15% of their current salary to accept a counter-offer. 

Owen Goodhead, MD of Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering said, “Counter-offers might, on the face of it, look like a good thing, but it’s clear that most employees tend to view them very negatively.  When we see this happen in practice, the initial reaction of an employee can be hard to predict. Some are flattered. However, generally the only real effect of counter-offers is to improve candidates’ confidence in the value of their abilities – and boost the chances of them moving jobs to realise that value.

“Construction and engineering companies should monitor this trend – and for those in this sector whose best employees are being targeted, there is one clear lesson. Keep counter-offers to a minimum, and try to prevent the situation arising in the first place. Ultimately employers need to keep an ear to the ground in their industries, and offer the going rate for the talent they need.”

Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering Randstad a leading recruitment & HR services provider i with a top three position in the UK and the United States.

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