Take Counter Offers Off The Counter

Just when you think you’ve had a hard enough time finding the perfect candidate and are about to pop that bottle to celebrate - BAM! A counter offer. Counter offers have become more common in this candidate short market and they can be an absolute pain but don’t give up on the fight. Here are a few small steps you can take to win that battle.

Question their motive

Don’t go full FBI and turn the reading lamp in their face and make them sweat through interrogation, but you do want to peel back the layers and get to the real reason they’re considering jumping ship. If they just want more money, know up front that’ll be a tough one because if they receive a counter offer, they’re laughing. But if they’re looking for more of a challenge, are unhappy with lack of progression or are looking for a change in culture, you’ve got something to work with.

Don’t be shy

Be up front and ask “what would you do if your company made you a counter offer?” so you’ve got all your bases covered. So, during the initial interview and throughout the recruitment process, play that “what if” game and discuss different scenarios to see how the candidate would handle them if they arose. 

If your candidate told you that they’re looking for more than just money and decided to consider a counter offer from their current employer, now is a good time to be asking “why now are they willing to do this”? It’s an opportunity to get inside their head and figure out why they suddenly feel so valued at their current company. It’s like trying to crack a code, but with people!

Are you being used?

In the interviewing stages, you gotta make sure a candidate isn’t just using you as bait to go to their current employer to negotiate a raise. It’s a total waste of your time. So, you talk to them upfront about counter offers and continue to discuss it (but don’t be pushy) to see if they waver or hint that they might take a counter offer. You’ve probably dealt with this before and will know the signs, so keep an eye out for passive behaviour.

Facts first

Stats don’t lie, and you should make sure your candidate knows them. The first things that pop up when you Google “should I accept a counter offer” tell a story that recruiters already know. It damages the candidates’ relationship with recruiters and it doesn’t address the reason they might be leaving in the first place. “Why now?” should be playing on their mind. Let’s be real, candidates need to see the downside of counter offers and the fact that around 57% of employees who accept them end up leaving their company in the next two years. That may seem like a short time but encourage them to see the opportunity at the new company over that timeframe, instead of staying for what seems easier. They’ll thank you later!

Change is scary! 

You can make it easier for the candidate who might find change disorientating. An important part of recruitment is building a relationship with your candidate and making them feel comfortable (ahem, our tagline is literally all about humaninsing the hiring experience, so we’d say we’re pretty good at it). When it comes to a job offer, don’t make it so robotic and definitely don’t just email them. We’d always suggest calling or better yet, getting the hiring manager or their new boss involved. Getting them to get in touch shows excitement and support from their end and can calm nerves for the candidate before taking a leap of faith. Go above and beyond with our video messaging tool Capture and record a congratulations message or get your client to complete a Solo Interview with some information about the job and a message for the candidate!

The good news is money isn’t the key motivator for candidates anymore. They want benefits that matter, good company culture and progression opportunities. So if you’re matching the right candidates to the right roles and taking everything into account, we doubt you’ll have any trouble when it comes to the battle with their current employer. 

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