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Managing the counter offer to secure top talent

Managing the counter offer to secure top talent

The recruitment process is complete and your preferred candidate has accepted. Weeks of shortlisting, interview panels and assessments may be a distant memory as the offer letter is sent in the post and the champagne placed on ice. Just as the celebrations are about to kick off your new hire calls to tell you they’ve been offered the opportunity to stay with their current company with the prospect of a better package, higher salary and/or promotion.

A classic counter offer or buy-back manoeuvre. What’s your next move?

 Counter offers on the rise

Retaining top performers is high on the agenda for many companies as the war for talent rages on. Here at Morgan Philips Group, we saw a dramatic hike in the number of counter offers used by employers in 2014 particularly in the construction, legal, finance and media and telecoms sectors. In many cases, these offers were unsuccessful. But being able to negotiate your way through this critical period, positioning yourself as a credible, sincere and trusted new employer will give your future recruit some serious thought in their decision to stay or go.

What can you do to manage the counter-offer?

On your journey through the recruitment process, you will have had ample opportunity to discuss your preferred candidate’s reasons for leaving, future aspirations and motivations for joining your company. 

Here’s our 5 point check list with how to curtail the counter offer 

1)    Do your research at the interview

The hours you’ve invested in the interview stages will have given you a strong insight into your preferred candidate’s motivations. Ask specifically their reason for leaving their current employer and ask how they would react if they were offered the opportunity to stay. If you’re uncomfortable with the answer they provide, dig deeper and start to focus your attention on other candidates in the running. 

2)    Keep in touch 

Maintaining contact with your preferred candidate after the offer confirmation shows a strong sense of personalisation and interest. Energy levels, enthusiasm and excitement levels will be high, so maintaining this momentum through their notice period is key. Offer to bring them in to the meet the team and different stakeholders across the business. Getting to know their surroundings keeps you at the forefront of their mind and maintains that positive relationship through to when they start.

3)    Stay in selling mode

There were reasons that your new employee was attracted to your company. Ensure that all of the benefits are reinforced at every stage of your recruitment process as well as after the offer. Whether this is cultural fit, work life balance or career progression, make sure you prompt the candidate on discussions you’ve had over the interview stages and reassure them that your company can offer them these opportunities. 

4)    Use recruiter expertise

Morgan Philips Group consultants are trained to manage the outcomes of counter-offers. We work closely with our candidates to identify their key motivational drivers and job search criteria before we put them forward to prospective organisations. Candidates  looking to use a job offer simply as a bargaining tool don’t make the cut.  

5)    Know when to walk away

You’ve spoken, you’ve met further and resold the benefits of your organisation. Ultimately you want the right talent who is excited to join your company, not an individual who will waiver the opportunity to join you for the prospect of some extra cash in the short term. Its ok to walk away and review other prospects for the role. 

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