So, why do candidates accept counter offers from their employers? Common situations include:
1. Candidates were only interviewing with another company to force their current employer to give them a salary increase.
2. They were curious, but not serious, about seeing what other job opportunities are around and when they are offered a new position, they find they are not mentally ready to leave their current employer.
3. They think they are interested in a new challenge, but when it comes down to it, they are entirely motivated by money.
There is nothing wrong with any of the above three scenarios – we operate in a free market and people have the right to explore it. But, as I’ve said, it’s frustrating and wastes your time when you’ve gone through an interview process, committed to a candidate and then are told (usually just before they are due to commence with you) that they are staying where they are as their employer has offered them more money.
There is lots of advice on the internet for candidates on how to get a counter offer out of your employer and how to handle it. There’s not so much information though on how to avoid being the potential new employer who loses out to a candidate’s current employer.
Here are our top 5 tips on avoiding counter offer scenarios:
1. Understand a candidate’s intrinsic motivation.
Dig deep in a first interview to explore a candidate’s motivation for considering leaving their current employer. If a candidate indicates the primary motivation is money, be afraid – they will make their decision based solely on who makes the best financial offer.
2. Understand the reason the candidate is considering moving jobs.
Ascertain whether what is causing the candidate to think about moving on from their current employer is something that the current employer can address and make better. If it is and the current employer offers more money as well, chances are the candidate will stay where they are.
3. Discover how attached the current employer is to the candidate.
Explore with the candidate what they think their current employer will do and say when they come to hand in their notice. Listen very carefully to the response.
4. Understand the salary expectations.
Ask the candidate what they would consider to be a significant enough increase in salary to make them stay where they are currently employed and then weigh up whether you think their existing employer is likely to offer that figure to the employee to stay.
5. Offer a great candidate experience.
Make sure you offer a great interview experience to the candidate so your opportunity is appealing, exciting and unbeatable. People buy people and if you can convince the candidate that you would be the best person to work with and for, it will be difficult for someone else to be in competition with you, regardless of the salary offered!
Often candidates who accept a counter-offer from a current employer tend to regret their decision down the track. Money is only one factor in deciding that you have outgrown a role and should be weighed up against company culture and career development opportunities. Candidates that have taken what seems like the easy way out, often find they have burned bridges with prospective employers of choice having wasted their time previously. By taking extra care in the interview process and listening very carefully to your candidate, you can take steps to avoid the counter-offer scenario entirely.
If you want professional advice when recruiting contact @Samantha Smith at Parkhouse Bell. Parkhouse Bell is an executive search and recruitment company specialising in the employment services, vocational education, community and disability services sectors.