You just discovered, interviewed, and extended a job offer to an exceptional IT candidate. And like clockwork, that candidate gets a counteroffer tempting enough to sabotage all your hard work. Sound familiar? With full employment and rolling IT talent shortages, competition for the best talent is a tooth and nail struggle. Fortunately, organizations can prepare for this scenario by keeping candidates interested, engaged, and falloff resistant.
For starters, let’s take a look at the numbers. A job offer is not unassailable. A CareerBuilder survey found that 57% of candidates admit to looking for other jobs after they’ve received a job offer. Additionally, over two-thirds of companies have seen one in four new hires never show up. Companies that accept these numbers and are prepared to counteract candidate falloff from the start are more successful at preventing them from happening.
When you learn a candidate is contemplating a counteroffer, your gut reaction might be to ease up on your onboarding efforts. What was once a sure thing has now been called into doubt. However, attracting IT candidates (and keeping them) depends on how well you engage them throughout the entire recruitment lifecycle. Hesitation only speeds up candidate falloff.
In fact, an interesting article from Medium reinforces the importance of staying engaged with candidates. In most workplaces, there are barriers to candid conversations about compensation and benefits. Most employees hesitate about expressing their needs, worried speaking up might jeopardize their career. But when an employee is thinking about leaving and their current employer makes a counteroffer, both sides feel comfortable enough to have a more honest conversation about benefits. As communication is increasing between the employer and your candidate, you need to make sure that you don’t fall off the map.
Maintaining communication can be a life preserver for your job offer. Active follow ups signal that you’re passionate about bringing candidates on board (not just making an offer to avoid an empty chair). Plus, it speaks volumes about your culture. If you are engaging with candidates early and often, you imply that you are more likely to stay in communication when they are actually on the job (68% of candidates believe their experience while being hired reflects how companies treat their people). As they get acclimated to a new office environment, it’s reassuring to know that your company will play an active part in guiding them through their new role.
Unchallenging projects. Limited career growth. Bad work environments. Counteroffers won’t resolve any of these frequent candidate complaints. Effectively overcoming counteroffers requires your hiring team to reconnect with candidates and remind them what’s motivating them to leave in the first place. For it to succeed, you need a strong relationship upfront.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that one of our recruiters was working with a Business Analyst who received a counteroffer. The first step would be to learn about the extent of the counteroffer (salary, benefits, bonuses, etc.) This particular candidate felt stifled in her old job and her growth had hit a low ceiling. Our recruiter would reemphasize any exciting project in the current role (especially if it’s in a new and exciting field) and the opportunities to take on greater responsibilities and even leadership roles (if available).
The only caveat is that a bond needs to exist between IT professionals and your company in advance. If trust doesn’t exist, then convincing them to ignore the counteroffer will be a struggle. However, if your recruiters, onboarding team, or consultant support team (think our Engagement Management Program) have proven their expertise as reliable career consultants, you can talk candidates out of a decision they’ll regret not too far down the line.