After you provide a job offer to a top candidate, expect them to receive a counteroffer from their employer. Because it costs less to retain an employee than hire a new one, managers are likely to give a counteroffer when employees decide to leave. This is especially true if the employee’s knowledge, skills, and experience are specialized or hard to find. Because both you and the candidate lose out if they accept the counteroffer, you need to educate them with reasons not to take it.
Here are four strategies to avoid losing your top candidate to a counteroffer.
Discuss How Current Job Issues Remain
Point out that most employees who accept a counteroffer end up leaving within six months. Because the issues that made them want to leave remain, the employee is unlikely to be happier long-term. Since their manager knows they want to leave, a counteroffer buys time to find a replacement. Because the candidate was motivated enough to participate in the entire recruiting process and accept a position, they’re ready to move on from their employer.
Ask Targeted Questions
Gain insight into the candidate’s mindset and career goals by asking targeted interview questions. Find out why they’re looking for a new role. The candidate may want increased compensation, greater responsibility, more advancement, or better work-life balance. Knowing their motivations lets you focus the discussion on aspects of the position and company that meet their needs. Discuss whether the candidate expects their employer to make a counteroffer and how they intend to respond. If they receive one, remind the candidate why they initially decided to leave and how your company will meet their goals.
Make a Competitive Job Offer
Provide the candidate with your best possible job offer. Conduct market research to ensure your salary range and benefits are in line with other businesses in your industry and geographic area. Clarify in writing the hourly wage or monthly salary along with bonuses, stock options, commissions, or profit-sharing. Specify medical, dental, and vision benefits along with flex accounts, life insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits. Provide a deadline of no longer than a week for acceptance.
Enhance the Candidate Experience
Provide an exceptional experience throughout your recruiting process. Give regular updates on where your candidate is at, what their next steps are, and what your timeline is for making decisions. Your candidate needs as much information as possible to remain engaged in the process, prepare to move forward, and know what to expect. Clearly communicating information regularly, shows your commitment to their success. This gives them an idea of how things will be if they decide to work for you.
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