What should you do when your candidate has received a counteroffer from a current employer?

The ideal candidate? The fact is that there are some industries where briefly getting a candidate with years of experience is at a premium. In this case, it is not the man who is looking for a job, but the job is looking for a man. As a result, it is the recruiters who are outdoing themselves with attractive employment offers, just to entice the candidate to be tempted by their proposal. When everything seems to be heading to a happy ending, you think you've secured the team member of your dreams, suddenly it turns out that on the last straight before signing the contract, he gets a counter-offer from his current employer. Because of this - is there anything you can do to influence a potential employee's decision-making process?

Recruitment is a tactical game - always act in advance

In short, the recruitment process of securing a valuable employee is always a huge challenge. Under these circumstances, recruitment cannot be approached as a one-time event, especially when recruiting a specialist in a niche industry. Contrary to appearances, it's a complicated undertaking that doesn't always garner success every time. In truth, the best-planned recruitment strategy that incorporates all the essential elements (these include an inviting offer, negotiating with the candidate to develop a compromise, being responsive to the candidate's needs) may not be enough to celebrate success. 

When your dream candidate has just handed in his notice at his current job can you talk about success? First of all, it's still too early to open the champagne. In fact, there is a high risk that he will receive a lucrative counteroffer from his current supervisor. If you want to have a real impact on what decision is ultimately made plan your actions. In fact, use the entire recruitment process to prepare the candidate for such an eventuality. From the moment you start recruiting, you will have enough time to convince the potential employee that no other offer can compare with the proposal made by your company. For this reason, do everything you can to minimize the risk of accepting a counteroffer.

Find out why the candidate really wants to change jobs. You will gain a tactical advantage

Various motives can drive candidates to change jobs. Your task is to recognize these motives. If the candidate's main motivation is a higher salary, the situation becomes risky. A candidate can easily accept a counteroffer from the current employer. Employers often offer higher salaries to retain valuable employees.

However, such a situation does not mean losing. As an experienced recruiter, you know that salary is rarely the only motive for changing jobs. Maybe your candidate doesn't see other benefits of the new offer? Ask about satisfaction with the current job, development opportunities, commuting conditions or team integration. Find out what his expectations and plans for growth are. Convince him that changing jobs is the best decision for the situation.

The candidate should be taken care of as best as you can. Let him know that he has an ally in you

The recruitment process is very stressful, even for a person who has already had the opportunity to work at several different companies. Everyone is stressed - both the young fry and employees with vast experience, for whom headhunters are in a constant battle. A recruiter therefore faces a very responsible task. You have to plan the whole enterprise down to the smallest detail. The more smaller skirmishes you win, the better chance you have of achieving ultimate success. Even if a ceasefire negotiation takes place and the candidate receives a counteroffer, the right tactics will allow you to win the entire duel.

First, in general, gain knowledge that will help you understand the needs of the person hired for a particular position. Do thorough research to know what salary to offer, what specific duties will be assigned, and what the prospects for career advancement are. With such information, you will create a precise recruitment offer that may be of interest to those considering a job change.

It is also important that you are in constant contact with the candidate at each of the recruitment stages. In short, be open. Especially to his needs, make sure the next steps are understood by him. Get involved in the relationship. Let the candidate feel that he can rely on you. Building trust isn't easy, but it can prove to be the tongue in cheek when a potential employee is faced with the decision to accept or reject a counteroffer from his current employer.

Counteroffer in the recruitment process: How to prepare a candidate for its eventuality?

Once you have gained the candidate's trust, take care to prepare him for the possibility of receiving a counteroffer. Of course, start taking action after you get assurances from him that he is determined to accept your offer. Remember to act in advance. You need to practice different scenarios even before he gives notice. Don't be afraid that the mere vision of receiving a counteroffer will panic a potential employee. In conclusion, take care of his sense of worth, and no promises of a higher monthly transfer amount will be able to make the candidate change his decision.

Fast Forward Solutions - Your source for the best professionals

Fast Forward Solutions specializes in recruitment services in the areas of IT, e-commerce, sales and marketing. Our rigorous methodology combines role profiling, executive search and candidate assessment, supported by consulting services. As a result, we guarantee efficiency and rapid acquisition of the best talent on the market. With our support, any company can increase sales, reduce operating costs, improve the efficiency of human resources management and strengthen investor confidence.


About the author: Tomasz Bożyczko

Tomasz Bożyczko is an experienced leader in managing marketing and sales teams, President and Founder of Fast Forward Solutions. His passion for recruiting and developing teams has contributed to the success of many organizations. Tomasz is an expert in hiring top talent and improving recruitment processes.

We hope these tips will help you create compelling job opportunities and optimize your recruitment process to attract the most valuable employees for your company.