by Nancy S. Charney
For the first time in our firm’s 25+ year history we are experiencing a candidate-driven market. Severe labor shortages are common in most industries and job openings far outnumber qualified candidates.
The power dynamic in hiring shifted so quickly that many companies didn’t have time to closely examine their hiring processes and retention policies. Likewise, many employees didn’t have time to carefully assess their reasons for considering a career change. As a result, we’ve witnessed a significant rise in counteroffers.
What makes counteroffers so enticing… and so dangerous?
✔️ Professionals get something they want (usually a higher salary, promises of more opportunities and a better work situation) without having to deal with any of the inconveniences of transitioning to a new company.
❌ Unfortunately, they also continue working in the same role and for a manager and employer they were eager to leave. They understand that resigning was the only way to be heard or receive recognition for a job well done. In addition, they know the company could have been paying the salary counteroffered all along. They enter this new work agreement aware of the irrevocably changed relationship between employee and manager.
✔️ Employers delay the inevitable hassle of finding a new employee including posting the job, interviewing, selecting a new hire and training.
❌ However, they are giving perks to an employee that was unhappy enough to leave knowing it is only a matter of time before he/she resumes the search. Research shows money isn’t the most important reason for conducting a job search and unhappy employees pacified by a larger paycheck or improved benefits won’t remain loyal for long.
How does a trusted partner enhance the hiring process in a new job market?
It’s understood that qualified candidates in this market will likely receive multiple offers. The adage, “Time kills all deals” is true now more than ever. Those companies lucky enough to attract top talent must work hard to keep them engaged throughout the hiring process.
Once an offer is made, it’s critical to keep the new hire excited during the transition. Having a partner in the process can be extremely helpful. A trusted recruiter can help foster communication, provide necessary feedback and offer a warm reception into the new work culture.
A welcoming onboarding experience is critical as candidates look forward to their start dates. Without that feeling of security, employees tend to view their current work situation in a much more positive light and look for excuses to stay in their comfort zone.
As recruiters, we recognize the damage that counteroffers can have on a professional’s career development. As a result, our initial conversations with new candidates explore the question, “What do you think your boss will say when you resign?” Throughout the process, we inform candidates that a counteroffer is simply confirmation that their current employer can’t afford to lose them, despite having not appreciated their value to the company all along.
Learning to identify a counteroffer is the first step. It often begins with questions such as…
- What can we do to keep you?
- How much will it take?
- Would you consider other positions here?
When a candidate is properly educated about the dangers of counteroffers to career success, the response is a clear and concise refusal to negotiate. This is where having an ally in the hiring process can be beneficial.
What makes a trusted recruiter different from a job board?
Studies prove that most individuals making career changes today do so for reasons other than salary including company culture, a sense of purpose and optimal work-life balance. This is indicative of the top talent in whom we invest our time and effort. In contrast, those candidates motivated solely by money often fall prey to counteroffers.
At Charney & Associates, we aim to make mutually beneficial matches between our candidates and our clients for long-term success. To achieve this, we work closely with candidates at every step of the hiring process so they can make informed decisions. Conversely, we consult with our clients to create the best possible candidate experience and onboarding strategy.
The collaboration between employer and recruiter is especially critical at the time of a job offer as it can promote even greater assurances that the proposal is accepted. Candidates with any hesitation are free to ask the recruiter questions and receive reassurances before enthusiastically entering into an agreement and employers are not blindsided by surprise objections or unexpected concerns.
With help from a trusted advocate, this unique labor market can help promote long-term change in how companies handle the hiring process and inspire employee retention policies that improve long-term success for both client and candidate.