I recently wrote a blog about candidate control. This is a follow up around the subject of counter offers; every recruiters nightmare.
Firstly quoting the dubious “within 18 months, 93% of those accepting a counter offer leave” stat is NOT a counter offer strategy!
- Combating a counter offer starts right back at the very first conversation with the candidate. You need to understand why they WANT to move and what they NEED to actually make the move (re-read my candidate control blog post tips on how to have those conversations). If you are getting wishy-washy reasons why your candidate wants to leave then probe deeper.
- As you go through the recruitment process (client interview, feedback, etc) keep checking nothing has changed. As soon as there is genuine interest between the two parties bring up the subject of a counter offer. Explain to them that in your experience their current employer might make a counter offer and talk about how they might handle it.
- For better success at offer stage use the candidate’s own terminology to explain how the role fits their needs and wants.
- If they are counter offered do not make it all about the money/promotion. Talk them back through the reasons they wanted to move and help them to decide if these are really going to change. If necessary be prepared to also talk with your client about the situation and see if they have any input. I’m not suggesting you ask them to up the money – but if home working, healthcare, etc are part of the issue they may be able to offer alternatives.
If you are lucky enough (as happens in most cases) to avoid the counter offer do not rest on your laurels. Keep in touch with your candidate right up until they start their new job and encourage your client to start the “on boarding process” as soon as possible too.