By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Competition for talent is fierce. If you haven’t lost a candidate to a counter-offer, you know someone who has. Your best protection is putting the subject on the table—front and center—during a candidate interview. How do you do that?
Every interview you have must include direct questions about motivation. Candidates don’t come to an interview for no reason. Ask them why they are even thinking of making a change, and what they’re looking for in the next step in their career. When candidates aren’t clear on these points, they can be more easily swayed by a counter-offer. If you hear about problems focused on money, be cautious. Money is the easiest problem to fix with a counter-offer.
Put the counter-offer issue on the table with these questions:
Accepting an offer from us means leaving where you are. How will your firm react?
Do you anticipate a counter-offer?
Have your seen your employer make counter-offers to others? What was the result?
These are bold questions. Use them later on in an interview, after you’ve developed a rapport. Ask them in a friendly, curious tone. This is information you need to measure your risk.
The candidate’s responses might make you confident you could overcome an actual counter-offer. Or, you might decide the risk is high enough that you elect not to make an offer at all. Either way, it’s a smarter hiring decision.