Slouch’s blog post on “ A Counter Offer of Biblical Proportions” enticed me to share some thoughts on why it’s important to deal with the Counter Offer issue very early on in the recruitment cycle; regardless of whether or not your candidate will get a Counter Offer.
Some veterans may disagree that the minute that candidate walks through your door part of the interviewing process has to deal with whether or not the candidate will accept a Counter Offer- it is after all apart of the closing process “Before the candidate meets your Client for the first time”. Is he or she fully closed or as I like to always say “ Have you made the hire for the client?” . It’s what we do folks.
I will even go one step further and say that you stop the interview all together if the candidate tells you they will accept a Counter. “But I am Oldschool” .... He/She does not get to meet your client for that initial interview... And you let them know point blank “ I can’t waste my time or my Client’s time you are obviously not serious about making a move at this time. I understand ...” That sounds like what I would say verbatim ...
Why do I feel this is necessary, for starters-you get a chance to determine the real reasons the candidate is on the market in the first place outside of: closer to home, less travel and work life balance etc, and so on.., is the candidate looking for a raise from his/her current employer and if so perhaps he/she should be asking for one now and not later.
Your time and more importantly your Client’s time is valuable and important –the candidate is forced to re-evaluate whether or not they are ready to make the move as you have educated him/her on what happens when you accept counter offers.
And, Ofcourse the candidate can look you in the eyes and tell you “ I will not accept a counter offer” even if it was a $20k increase and you probe them because he/she supposedly gave you the “Real” reasons they want to leave and in that process they gave you the dollar amount they would accept to make the move to your Client... The candidate is closed... and closed before they meet your Client ...
If after that process you still feel deep down the candidate would accept a Counter you can now aptly prepare your Client for that possibility and have them ready to make a Counter proposal and at the same time look at your backup candidate.
We can’t control everything in the Recruitment process - but the more we can control the better. So now you have a Client that really respects the fact you covered all your bases regardless of the deal outcome, you have prepared them. You have a ton of ammunition for the candidate who is contemplating a Counter offer (Reasons the candidate provided in making the move to your client in the first place) – also part of the re-closing effort – Outside of a (Slouch’s) Google /FB Counter offer, its going to be more difficult for the candidate to take the Counter and harder to swallow even if he/she does eventually accept it.
In the end, by dealing with the Counter Offer head on, you eliminate surprises, you know you have fully closed the Candidate for your Client’s opportunity. Your Client is prepared for all outcomes. The Candidate respects you in the end- your reputation stays intact.