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Human Resources

Counter Offers

Definition: Counter offers may be used to retain individuals in their current positions. A department may request a counter offer to retain an employee who has received a written job offer from an external organization for a position. Counter offers are typically used in an attempt to retain high-level performers in hard-to-recruit for and/or highly specialized positions.


  1. The department must initiate a Special Pay Increase (for counter-offer) action in the OASys PD Module and include the written job offer indicating a starting salary and start date of employment. The written job offer must be verifiable. For navigating the OASys PD Module, please refer to the OASys training resources webpage.
  2. All increases will be routed to the Divisional and University Budget Office for review and will require a recommendation for approval from the respective Vice President of each budgetary unit.
  3. The Office of Human Resources will review and submit requests for special pay increases to the Presidential designee for approval. Upon approval, the department can negotiate with the individual, offering up to the approved amount.


  • The amount of the counter offer must always be consistent with an individual’s level of responsibility and performance.
  • The counter offer does not have to match or exceed the external offer.
  • The counter offer cannot place an employee's salary higher than the appropriate market value and should not cause salary inequities.
  • Counter offers to retain individual employees do not justify salary adjustments for other similar employees.
  • Internal counter offers are not authorized as the university does not compete against itself.
For questions about counter offers and how to initiate, please contact Human Resources Classification & Compensation.