Due to a significant skills shortage nationally, business are forever competing to acquire the best talent in the market. As an example, skills such as audit and corporate tax for example are very sought after and due to the shortage, candidates with these skills can often expect to have at least 5-6 business interested in hiring them. Naturally this is great from a candidates perspective but it makes it very competitive for employers. If you're fortunate enough to have beaten the competition and the candidate has accepted your offer, you then have a further risk of losing them via a counter offer from their current employer, who, because of the skills shortage and challenge in recruiting, are going to do everything they can to retain their member of staff. Here are some tips to mitigate the risk of losing your ideal candidate to a counter offer.
Understand their motivations
Candidates always have a reason to look for a new job and more often than not, it’s not the first reason they give. Really take time in the interview to understand their motivators and make sure you remember them. They’re typically focused on money, progression, quality of life, type of work and the working environment. It important to consider why they are looking to leave, and what it is that they are looking for.
Sell the culture and opportunity
If you have managed to correctly identify the candidate's motivations and reasons as to why they are interested in your vacancy or business then you can really sell the opportunity to the candidate based on what they are looking for. I.e. “You said you’re looking for more Money; we have liaised with TPF Recruitment to ensure we have offered you above the market rate”.
Cover the counter offer
Sometimes a counter offer is expected but not always. Bring this up in conversation with the candidate. ”how will you resignation land with your current employer?”. “Will they counter offer you and if so, what will you do?” It’s really important to address this with the candidate so that you both have the same expectations going forward.
Offer a competitive package
As you will now know the candidate’s motivations and aspirations, it’s really important to offer the best possible package you can. The further you bridge the gap between their current package and your offer, the more difficult it is for them to be counter offered. This doesn’t always have to be in monetary form either, it could be job title, progression, work exposure etc.
Ensure you know when the candidate is resigning from their position so that you can liaise with them. Communication keeps you in their mind and a counter offer is most likely when there is a lack of communication between the employer and the candidate. It’s also important to keep the communication up throughout the candidate’s notice period as there is always a risk of a counter offer until the day that the candidate starts their new position with you.