Dropping the C-Bomb in the Recruitment Process!


That’s right, it has happened to all of us before. You think you have the perfect candidate and all is on track for them to accept the job or they may even be set to commence, and then the C-Bomb is dropped…..Counteroffer!

So, when is a good time in the recruitment process to raise counteroffers with the candidate and/or the client you are supplying to?

Presented too early to the candidate and they may well be distracted from the initial process of proving their suitability for the role. Left too late and the candidate is under-prepared to approach a counteroffer logically, or they may become disheartened if their current company simply accepts their resignation and does not approach them with a counteroffer.

Raised too early with the client that you are recruiting for and they may feel you are not capable of doing your job, or just looking to increase your fee by getting their commitment to a higher salary package. Leave it too late and your client may not be prepared enough to consider all options to counteroffer the counteroffer.

There are many reasons why someone may want to leave their current role. It may not just be that they are motivated by money, so a good honest conversation with the candidate regarding their reason for leaving is recommended. Confirming that these concerns will not be a factor in the new role they are applying for is critical in making them focus on their commitment to leave their current role.

The motivation of the candidate to leave their current role is communicated to the client. It is important to confirm that these issues will not occur in the new role and that yes this is the best person for the job. This minimises the likelihood of needing to find a replacement candidate when the initial placement does not stay.

I personally like to take a multi-step approach. Starting with the candidate, I like to focus on the reason/s why they want to leave their current role. Quality communication is vital towards opening up opportunity to delve deeper into this. The first answer given by the candidate may not be the real reason. I encourage the candidate to go back to their current employer and raise these issues so they can hear firstly if and when their current employer will address their concerns. I find that this will focus many candidates on their plan to leave. It may backfire if those issues raised are rectified by their current employer and they subsequently withdraw their application. However, in the long run, it may have prevented further time spent on a candidate that was unlikely to leave their current employer anyway, as the counteroffer would have addressed these same issues at a later and more critical stage.

Approaching the offer stage is the perfect time to drop the C-Bomb with the candidate. Having a dedicated meeting / phone hook-up so the topic is given appropriate time is advised. Being prepared with the information the candidate provided as to their reasons for leaving provides opportunity to assist or coach them as to how they need to respond to any possible counteroffers. This information and coaching can empower the candidate in the resignation process, which can be otherwise daunting for many people.

For clients, the goal is to talk them through the recruitment process including how potential counteroffers will be addressed. Having this in the back of their mind will make it easier to approach the issue further within the process. Again, a set meeting / phone hook-up to discuss the chances of counteroffers and what are they willing to do to ensure they get the preferred candidate is vital. What is the cost of the business if they fail to employ this person? Ideally, the recruiter will present the client with a number of candidate options, but in a candidate tight market, there may just be one or two suitable applicants.

The client’s willingness to counteroffer a counteroffer may not need to focus on money as this may not be the driver for the candidate wanting to make a change. Knowing the candidate’s reason for leaving and ensuring that the client can meet or exceed these needs, should motivate the candidate to accept the offer!

So, be professional in your next recruitment drive and get ready to drop the C-Bomb!

For any companies embarking on employing more staff and looking for assistance please contact me at RPR trades.


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