So you’re hiring a new member of your team. After interview after interview and candidate after candidate, you’ve made your selection. You’ve been transparent through the whole process and made them the offer they’ve been anticipating. They excitedly accept: Beers all round! But a week later, they took it back… They’ve accepted a counter offer: Another promising candidates lost to counter offers.
It’s a tale that is becoming more and more commonplace. With how competitive salaries and the current job market is in the UK, it’s no surprise.
But counter offers are very rarely a good idea for candidates. And for businesses, they’re mostly used as a stop-gap measure while they look for new employees.
As an employer or hiring manager it can be frustrating to invest all the time and effort into finding the perfect candidate for your business. Only for them to be lured in by the false promises of a counter offer. But candidates accepting a counter offer aren’t outside of your control. You can take pre-emptive steps to reduce the likelihood of the candidates you interview and make offers to, from accepting the dreaded counter offer.
11 Strategies To Prevent Your Candidates From Accepting Counter Offers
We coach candidates through counter offers every day here at Dynamic. Telling them exactly what to expect from a counter offer, and what the offer means in reality.
And a part of this service we offer is giving our clients, (that’s you), all the information you need to reduce the chances of your perfect candidate being tempted away. We’re sharing with you all the information you need to prevent all those preventable counter offers.
- Connect with the candidate on a personal level
- Showcase what’s unique about your company and the opportunity
- Demonstrate the growth opportunities available
- Emphasise your commitment to a positive work-life balance
- Offer a competitive salary and compensation package, as a minimum
- Highlight opportunities for having an impact and influences on the business
- Showcase your company’s culture
- Be transparent and involve the candidates in future projects and the future of the business
- Incentivise your employees to be your biggest company ambassadors
- Be transparent about the hiring process, and about counter offers
- And finally, streamline your decision-making and decide fast!
1. Connect with the candidate on a personal level
Every candidate that you interview is potentially your new co-worker for the next 5 to 10 years. And the interview is your first opportunity to start to connect with them on a personal level.
So show genuine interest in their career, their goals and what they’re looking for development-wise. By creating a personal connection with the candidate, they’ll begin to already feel like a part of the team and that you have a genuine interest in their career.
And when they’re excited for a new role, they’re much less likely to accept a counter offer from a job that they’re clearly already unhappy in.
2. Showcase what’s unique about your company and the opportunity
You should aim to positively differentiate your company from everyone else. For example, showcasing what is unique about your company and the opportunity.
The interview is your opportunity to give interviewees an insight into your company culture, the opportunities for growth and what benefits new employees will enjoy. For the candidates you really want on your team, the long-term career prospects, challenging projects and the work environment that sets you apart from competitors is what is really going to get their interest.
3. Demonstrate the growth opportunities available
When a candidate is looking to leave their company, one of the most common reasons is a lack of progression opportunities. After all, most candidates we work with are looking to take a step up in their career. So use the interview as an opportunity to entice candidates with career and professional growth opportunities.
You can prevent your candidates accepting counter offers by really getting into the specifics. Discussing what skill developments opportunities they will have, the mentorship programs or the training initiatives.
When a candidate can see the long-term growth opportunities available to them, they’ll be less likely to accept the short-term gains of the counter offer. And when they receive empty promises of “career progression”, they’ll be able to challenge this with the specifics you have offered.
4. Emphasise your commitment to a positive work-life balance
Work-life balance is a topic that’s only increasing in popularity. And with the shift to remote and hybrid working, and the blurring effect this has had on the lines between work and home, it’s no surprise. And employees are looking to employers to help create boundaries.
You can set yourself apart from your candidate’s soon-to-be-previous employer by communicating how your company helps support the work-life balance of its employees. And these candidates who are swayed by the possibility of working for a business which commits to supporting their work-life balance, are less likely to be swayed by the monetary incentives of a counter offer.
5. Offer a competitive salary and compensation package, as a minimum
Salary remains at the top of everyone’s list of what they’re most looking for from their next job. As a minimum, you should demonstrate to candidates that your compensation package and salary that you offer is competitive when compared to what they can expect to be offered. Because some candidates may not be aware that what you’re offering is the best they can expect.
Additionally, you should showcase the benefits that your company offers, health insurance, retirement support, additional holiday days: All great ways to demonstrate that while you’re offering a great salary, it’s not the only thing you have to offer.
6. Highlight opportunities for having an impact and influences on the business
Something your prospective candidates are looking for from their work that is less tangible, is meaning. We all want what we do as a job, to matter. And it’s your job to convey how your potential employee’s work will have an impact on the business and on their career.
Highlight how the position you’re offering will provide the candidate with the opportunity to change the future of the business, influence decision-making, and to have a genuine impact.
Intrinsic motivations like these can influence a candidate emotionally. And as much as we like to think we’re rational beings who make informed decisions, a lot of decisions are still made based on emotional factors.
7. Showcase your company’s culture
Your company culture is one of the greatest tools in your recruitment efforts. In fact, 92% of CEOs and CFOs think that their company culture improves the value of their company, making it a more attractive place to work at. Because people want to join a company where they will enjoy working and where they will thrive. By highlighting your businesses collaborative nature, and the strength of the team that the candidate will be joining, you can easily demonstrate why it’s in the candidate’s best interest to join your business.
And when a candidate can already see that your company culture is one where they would be a good fit and they will enjoy themselves, no counter offer will look tempting.
8. Be transparent and involve the candidates in future projects and the future of the business
Employees typically begin to look for a new role when they feel their career stagnating or become disillusioned with the company and their work. Discussing future projects or upcoming initiatives that the candidate will have a part in shows that you have already started to plan the next few steps in their professional progression.
Providing a glimpse into future projects and the new business opportunities that they will have a role in also helps to make the “hypothetical job opportunity” into a tangible reality. Something they can envision themselves doing and progressing in their career, and will help prevent the candidate from accepting a counter offer.
9. Incentivise your employees to be your biggest company ambassadors
Candidates are much more likely to believe that your company is a great company to work for when they can hear it from the employees who work there.
Encouraging your current employees to share their positive experience of working for your business can have a great positive effect on your recruitment efforts. These can be reviews on Google, Glassdoor or even reviews that you can put on your own website and use in your marketing efforts.
When a candidate hears first-hand how much your employees enjoy working for your company, it can be the deciding factor. And you can even offer to arrange conversations between candidates and your most supportive employees.
10. Be transparent about the hiring process, and about counter offers
One of the biggest reasons that you lose candidates to counter offers is the uncertainty and risk of leaving the safety and comfort of a job. A counter offer is easy, and much less of a risk for a candidate.
But by having a transparent hiring process where your candidate knows how many interviews and tasks to expect, the potential job offer they are working towards doesn’t seem like an ever-moving goalpost.
This includes being transparent about the counter offer that the candidate can safely expect to receive. By addressing it openly, you can learn what you can do to prevent your candidates from accepting a counter offer before they even receive one.
11. And finally, streamline your decision-making and decide fast!
The last thing you want to happen is to find a candidate who ticks all your boxes, who you then lose because you took too long to make a decision!
Streamlining your decision-making process and minimising delays in getting feedback back to candidates shows that you’re eager to get the candidate on board. It also shows that your business operates smoothly making yourself a potentially more attractive candidates. After all, no one wants to work at a company that takes weeks and weeks to make a decision.
And too often we see candidates who are waiting too long on an offer, get cold feet and accept the certainty and safety of a counter offer.
If you’re losing candidates to counter offers, one of the best things you can do for your recruitment efforts is to work with a talent solutions or recruitment partner.
Here at Dynamic, we vet and prepare all the candidates we work with to ensure you’ll only see people who have no interest in accepting a counter offer. And we coach all the candidates we work with about what to expect from a counter offer, and all the reasons why it’s not a good idea.