High-end candidates are almost always in demand. When unemployment is low, the pool of candidates for any job is thin. But for those highly sought after skills such as computer programming or nursing, it’s always going to be challenging to find and land a candidate. That means you need to know how to handle the candidate’s counteroffer as part of the negotiation process. Here’s how to do it. 

Recruiter Negotiation Tips: Handling the Counter Offer 

You’ve done it. You found the right candidate and made them an offer. You’re close to closing the deal. But the candidate comes back and surprises you with an offer from another company. What to do? 

The first step toward managing a candidate counteroffer is to understand how serious they were about your job. Ideally, this should be handled before you make the offer to the candidate. You can pre-qualify the candidate before you make the offer by saying things like: 

  • “The client likes you very much. If I’m authorized to make the offer, and it meets your terms, are you serious about taking the job?” 
  • “If we make you an offer, do you have other offers pending that I should worry about?” 

You should have enough rapport with the candidate, so these questions don’t come off as inappropriate or aggressive. But sometimes you are blindsided by a counteroffer. It happens. That’s when you have to determine if it’s worth making a counteroffer. Are there other benefits to taking the job that are as important as the money? Or, was the candidate using your job to “stir the pot” and drive their salary up? These are all issues to consider.  

If the candidate was considering leaving their existing job, took your offer, then the employer countered, you have to weigh your prior conversations to know what would keep them in a situation they wanted to leave. Is it entropy and the fear of change? It’s okay to ask the candidate why they’d consider going back to a role they were unhappy in before. Again, you will have to rely on the groundwork you did well before closing the candidate. That’s why the relationship you build with the candidate early on is so very crucial to the hiring process. As a recruiter, you should understand why the candidate is leaving their current job. If it’s just a question of more money, you’re always going to be vulnerable to a counteroffer.  

Making the Counter 

If you’re up against the ropes and have to make a counter to keep a great candidate, do it if you can. But also remember you always have the option of walking away, especially if you have other candidates that the client liked. When you’re negotiating, ask the candidate what the offer is from the other company. Explain that you’re trying to get them the best deal possible, but you need all their cards on the table to make an apple-to-apple comparison between their counteroffer and your offer. Questions to ask include: 

  • What perks and benefits does the job offer? 
  • What are they paying for insurance or other benefits? 
  • How did the organizational culture feel, and how was it different from your company? 
  • Why, exactly, are they considering another offer when they accepted or were on the verge of accepting your offer? 

Having all these details will help you understand how to approach your counter offer. 

Exelare is Here for You.

If you’re worried about having plenty of candidates in your funnel, turn to Exelare. Our state-of-the-art software can help you find and build relationships with more top talent. Talk to our team today.