Finding the right people to fill key roles in your business isn’t easy and, even when everything seems to be going well, a counter offer can throw a spanner in the works at the last minute.
As HVAC recruiters we understand that counter offers are a common issue, particularly with HVAC sales jobs where the candidates with the right product and customer knowledge are hard to find, incumbent employers are reluctant to let good people go without a fight.
So how can employers make sure they don’t lose their ideal candidate during the salary negotiation process?
5 Counter Offer Tips to help Clients Win their Best Candidates
Go in high with your first offer. For a typical HVAC sales role, few candidates will take the risk of moving job for a £3k gain in salary. Consider offering £5K to £6K initially and be prepared to go in high again if a counter offer comes in, with at least a £6K difference.
Offer a significant percentage improvement. If your salary structure is different to the average, then in our experience candidates are more susceptible to a counter offer if the original offer is 5 to 10% higher than their current basic salary. If potential employers offer 15 to 20% above the candidate’s current basic they are far less likely to receive – or be tempted by – a counter offer.
Stress the career benefits. A desirable candidate will want to feel there is room to grow in the new role. A self-starter will be attracted by a degree of autonomy and an opportunity to make the job their own to a certain extent. If there is potential to develop their career and step up to new challenges, they are far less likely to be persuaded by a counter offer. So many employers forget to specify the career benefits of the job and the opportunities that exist within the company.
Are they ready to move? Employers can save themselves a lot of time and energy if they recognise which candidates are ready to move and which are hedging their bets. If a candidate can’t give you convincing reasons for wanting to leave their current position, the chances are they’re not entirely convinced they want to move. These are the types of candidates who tend to be lured back by counter offers.
Is it a perfect match? A lot of our work involves matching candidates to the right jobs. In order to do that we need to get to know them really well. We want to understand what drives them and what career path they imagine for themselves. They may have the key skills required for the role but do they have any unique talents or have they developed expertise in a specific area that might make them more suited to some of our clients than others? If the match is right and the culture of the company fits the ambitions and skills of the candidate, a counter offer will rarely upset the apple cart.