Talent Acquisition

Why Your Candidates Are Accepting Late Counter Offers

For a recruiter, obtaining verbal acceptance for a job offer and securing someone into a role is the pinnacle of success. Especially when placements feel few and far between, the satisfaction that comes with watching your candidate sign the dotted line with your client makes the dry spells worth it.

Needless to say, there is nothing more disheartening than having a candidate accept an offer, start their new role and then accept a late counter offer to go back to the company they came from. They resign only a few months in, leaving you with a hefty refund payable to your client, a few disgruntled hiring managers and disappointment within your own office when you have to rub a name of the deals board.

Recruiters are aware that they need to prepare candidates for being counter-offered by their current company when they resign. This is relatively straightforward to manage when they’re at offer stage, but what about when the blow comes only weeks into them starting their new role? It’s important to understand why they might accept the counter offer, and stay close to candidates to ensure they experience a really positive introduction to their new company, one that makes it impossible for them to leave.

More money + better benefits

If your candidate’s previous company buys them back with a huge salary increase and a more attractive overall package, it can be difficult to come up with an argument as to why they shouldn’t accept it. For some candidates, money is everything, and if this is the case, you might have to admit defeat. If this scenario arises, it’s important to re-highlight the following points:

  • Why they wanted to leave the company in the first place
  • Why it took their resignation to come up with an attractive retention strategy
  • How it will feel walking back into the office they’ve just mentally checked out of
  • How the indecision will look to their new employer

Mis-selling of the role

As a recruiter, it’s not immediately your fault for the mis-selling of a role. Your client has to take responsibility for failing to live up to their new recruit’s expectations. Candidates are often promised the world, and then when they step foot into their new workplace, are quickly faced with the harsh reality of deception, and realise they have been lured in on false pretences. This can manifest itself in a lack of development opportunities, or even a lack of authority / decision-making power. Candidates might find that their day-today is not what they were promised.

This is where it is important to make sure a candidate has a really good understanding of what they are getting themselves into. It’s also important to make the client aware of what ca happen if a new hire feels underwhelmed by their new position. By making hiring managers and HR aware that candidates are likely to face counter offers from previous employers, it will encourage them to constantly ‘wow’ their new recruit, to make it hard for them to ever look back. Warning your client of the potential for your candidate to accept a counter offer will also take the edge off if this worst-case scenario eventuates.

Terrible on-boarding

Candidates may have spent years working for their previous company, and perhaps underestimated how comfortable they were. They may feel daunted by the new company, and have a shaky start. Having a good onboarding process is extremely important for making sure new hires have a strong, positive introduction to the company. If they are left to their own devices and not successfully integrated into the team, the result can be a huge loss of faith in the new company and the role they’ve accepted. With little allegiance to the new business, they may feel the best thing to is to follow the path back to familiarity and go back to what they know is safe for them.

Finally, it could just be that your candidate never really wanted to leave their previous company, and got caught in a long, drawn-out moment. Learn how to spot the early warning signs.