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What do we do about Counteroffers?

offerCounteroffers, let’s talk about the elephant in the room! The question is, can you keep them from derailing a perfect match? You have a client excited about their new employee and a new employee ready to go to work after giving notice, when a counteroffer is issued. As the recruiter you were feeling pretty proud, when suddenly you are left with an email saying that your happy match is not going to happen and the candidate is staying with his or her current place of employment. What happened? And could you have stopped this course of action? According to a blog by Eclipse Software, 80% of people who take a counter offer from their current employer will leave within 6 months.  This is something we must keep in mind as recruiters and employers, if someone is willing to apply to a number of positions, go through the interview process, they most likely have reasons they want to leave their current position. And usually this decision is not just about their salary. While salary is part of the puzzle, much of the time the candidate is experiencing other pieces of the job that aren’t fulfilling. Getting to know the candidate and finding out what their priorities are in a job along with personal career goals, is so important. Once you know these key factors, you have a unique perspective to assist the candidate, who is suddenly being wooed by his/her own employer to stay. You can help the candidate evaluate  the career opportunity with your client and the counteroffer. While it is true the situation has become emotional for the candidate in a new way, you as the recruiter can potentially halt the acceptance of a counteroffer. Knowing the “why” a person wants to leave, whether it is for growth, a new career path, or issues with their work culture allows you a perspective to talk through a counteroffer before it appears. Yes that is right, before it happens. At TeamBradley the key to our success is knowing both the candidate’s and our client’s wants, goals and pains. This allows us to find the best person to fit the client’s team, position, environment and goals. We cannot eliminate counteroffers, but we do position the candidate to be ready for the situation. Throughout the interviewing process with our client, we ask the candidate to review the new position’s perks and environment. We ask the candidate to reflect on why they are planning to leave their job and what they are gaining in the new career opportunity. When counteroffers appear, without any previous discussion of a counteroffer, people tend to get tunnel vision, they forget why they wanted a new job, and the issues they were having with the job or at work. We talk about the counteroffer from the beginning of the interviewing process. Actually sometimes even before we are willing to introduce a candidate to a client, when the conversation indicates that a candidate really does not want to leave their company, we’ll ask the obvious question, Have you told anyone in a position of control that you are unhappy? Maybe it can be fixed. If that is the case then the candidate who likely would have taken a counter offer finds out that sometimes you just need to speak up!  Counteroffers make a recruiter’s job challenging when one is accepted. Time is lost for both the recruiter and the client. Additionally the client at times, may take the recruitment job to another firm. The best way to avoid a counteroffer is to know your candidates, know your client and talk about a counteroffer from the very beginning of the interviewing process.