We’ve addressed the topic of the counter-offer in this blog post in recent weeks. However, we’ve tackled the topic from the perspective of the candidate. Specifically, we’ve pointed out the dangers that are involved with considering a counter-offer and especially in accepting one.
But what about employers and counter-offers?
What if, after you’ve made an offer of employment to the top candidate in your hiring process, that candidate’s current employer makes a counter-offer to them? Then what? Well, by then, it might be too late.
You have to hope and pray that the candidate does NOT accept the counter-offer. (And if they’ve been reading our recent blog posts, they shouldn’t accept it.)
In actuality, if you want to keep your top candidate from accepting a counter-offer, then you must address it before you make your offer. If not, you’re putting the entire process at risk. So what can you do? Four things:
#1—Find out what is really motivating the candidate.
Basically, you have to find out if the candidate is really serious about making a move. They can’t just be “kicking tires.” And they certainly can’t be using an offer as a form of leverage with their current employer. That has “counter-offer” written all over it.
Even if a candidate is serious about making a move, if the main reason they’re serious is because they want more compensation and/or benefits, then they’re at risk for accepting a counter-offer. Why? Because if money motivates a person to leave, then money can be used to convince that same person to stay.
#2—Coach the candidate beforehand.
Tell the candidate they might receive a counter-offer. Then ask if they would consider accepting a counter-offer. This would essentially force them to tell you that they would, or if they tell you that they wouldn’t and then they do accept one, force them to lie to you. Let them know that once they accept your offer, you’re expecting them to honor their word and start employment with your organization on the appointed date.
#3—Keep the candidate fully engaged throughout the entire process.
If the candidate is fully engaged, then they’re less likely to get distracted. They’ll be thinking more about their new employer than they will about their current (or soon to be previous) employer. As a result, the counter-offer will look more like a desperate, last-second attempt to keep them. They’ll be less impressed by it and more intent on joining your team.
#4—Onboard the candidate with excellence.
As we’ve discussed before in this blog, the onboarding process starts the moment that the candidate accepts your offer of employment. It’s imperative to make the candidate feel wanted even after they accept the offer. That way, even if a counter-offer is made, they will be less likely to accept it. Onboarding is crucial if an organization wants to prevent a candidate from accepting a counter-offer.
Identifying and hiring top talent doesn’t mean much if that talent stays with their current employer because of a counter-offer. That makes the hiring process full of sound and fury, but ultimately signifying nothing.
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