The counter offer is something that is part and parcel of a headhunter’s life but something that can ruin weeks of hard work. The candidate is researched, goes through all the headhunter’s interviews followed by the client interviews and then is offered the role. The candidate is delighted and accepts the offer and then tenders their resignation – HOWEVER as the candidate has been researched properly we all know that they are a valuable asset and so their current employer reacts and does all they can to keep hold of this prized asset. A candidate who has never been headhunted before has never met this situation before and as they already have an existing relationship with their employer it is not unreasonable to understand that their heads can easily be turned with the lure of a new career path and more money.
There are now two things that need to happen. We, the headhunter, need to remind the candidate why they considered a move in the first place. Why was this promise of a new career path and more money there in the first place – why did it take their resignation to trigger the employer’s reaction? Will they be in the same situation in 6 month’s time? Has the trust between employer and employee now been broken?
The second thing that needs to happen is our client needs to react too – I am not saying that a higher offer should be put on the table although it will certainly help but a certain amount of consideration needs to be taken. Think about the candidate and what their journey is going to be like moving to your company – how can you make that a less daunting process? Think about their well-being and be creative in what you suggest. Candidates need to know that they will be valued.
Headhunting top individuals is always going to lead to counter offers but it is usually a problem that is surmountable given the right amount of consideration.