7 Essential Counter-Offer Strategies

We’ve all been there.

You’ve finally got that job that’s been nagging at you, filled.

The Hiring Manager’s delighted. And you’re relieved.

You’re all set for them to start.

Then, you get that call.

The dreaded call.

The candidate has accepted a counter offer.

You feel pushed into a corner. Do you raise the offer? Work your persuasive powers? Start the search again?

We’ve worked in recruitment a long time, and it’s happened to us. The empathy is there. We feel your pain.

That’s why we’re sharing with you our 7 top tips to prevent the dreaded call.

1. Be Direct

Raise the subject as early as the first interview.

This mentally prepares the candidate for the “what ifs” and a counter offer.

Put on the spot, and flattery could be a combination that secures acceptance of the counter offer.

Planting the seed of thought prepares the candidate to think carefully about what their response would be.

2. Their Priorities

Get inside the candidate’s head.

What are their push and pull factors?

Why do they want to join your company? Establish if their reasons are solid and well researched to help you determine if they’re serious about the role.

What are the factors that have pushed them into interviewing with another company?

If you are faced with a counter offer, it can be useful to have this information to remind them of their priorities. This isn’t patronising. The flattery of a counter offer can sometimes blur perceptions. Help them to see clearly.

3. Show Off

Have you ever found out about company benefits after you’ve joined them?

Be sure your candidates know what’s on offer.

No matter how big or small the perk is, remember their priorities may be different to yours.

Shout about what your company offers.

4. Avoid War

This is a tricky one.

We all know how hard it is to find high quality talent in a competitive marketplace, making it tempting to jump into a tug of war with their current employer.

This won’t benefit either party.

Make one offer, and make it your best offer.

If money is their motivation, chances are they’ll be approached a year into the role by another competitor offering more money. Then the cycle starts again.

5. Offer Support

If you’ve handed in your resignation before, you will know that this isn’t a nice process. It’s personal.

There will always be the niggling voice in your heard asking, “Am I doing the right thing?”.

Reassure the candidate that they are.

Offer support during this process and ask them to call you once they’ve had that conversation with their Manager.

Provide an ear at this emotive time.

6. Stay in Touch

It is easy to miss those touch points once a candidate has accepted an offer when you’ve a pile of other vacancies that need filling yesterday.

However, this is a critical period.

During their notice period, they’re in constant contact with their current employer and are accessible to persuasion and encouragement.

Stay in touch with them; make them feel part of the team before they start. Tell them how excited you are to have them joining you and that everything is in place to welcome them.

7. On Boarding

Build a relationship of trust from the beginning.

Be open and honest and ask them to voice any concerns they have.

Keep the dialogue open.

Invite them in to meet the team or attend special events before their start date.

Implementing these tips will minimise the prospect of losing your candidates to counter offers.

If you need support with these, give us a call on 0800 085 6618. In addition to identifying and approaching candidates, we can also keep candidates warm after acceptance of an offer. We do this by providing a carefully designed on boarding strategy. Call us to find out more.

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