Recently Insight recruiters Kendra Bissonette and Patty O’Neil Messer led a webinar about Hot Issues in Recruiting. Among other hot issues, they highlighted the challenges in the job market and the shift from an employer driven market to a candidate driven market.
With unemployment at it’s lowest since 2008, candidates have the upper hand. No longer are companies in the drivers’ seat during the recruiting process, with the ability to be more selective about candidates or steadfast in their offers. In a candidate driven market, there are more available jobs for candidates to consider, positions typically stay open longer and candidates are able to negotiate the terms of an offer more successfully. In an employer driven market, a company would make an offer and the candidate would accept. Not so anymore. Now candidates negotiate the terms of the offer, go back to their current employer for a counter offer or they may be considering multiple offers from different companies. An offer is no longer a done deal. Some key steps for dealing with counter offers during the recruiting process are:
- Employers should be ready and expect counter and competing offers from candidates. To make the process run smoothly, prepare candidates up front with your expectations in terms of salary and benefits. By the time you extend an offer, there shouldn’t be too much that hasn’t been discussed already, so the candidate should know what to expect.
- Make a strong initial offer. Don’t low ball in the hopes that this will give you more leeway in your negotiations later on. Make a good offer up front, but be prepared to negotiate, if need be.
- Have a “Plan B”. With candidates entertaining multiple offers, things may not go your way. Don’t drop your pipeline of candidates before you’ve got a warm body in the seat. Continue to source and speak with potential candidates that might be a fit, but be up front if they’re not in the running.
The candidate driven market doesn’t end with the offer. Once the candidate is on board, the focus turns to employee retention. According to a recent LinkedIn survey, employees leave a job because of a lack of career development. Providing opportunities for employees to continually develop their skills and grow in their position is going to be paramount to retention. Think about the career progression of every position and what an employee needs to do to be promoted from within. Benefits are another key point to employee retention. Offer competitive salaries and employee benefits and review these annually to ensure you’re keeping pace with the market. Also encourage regular communication among employees and between the executive team and employees. Don’t assume that departments are communicating or that the executive team has relayed their vision. Be responsible for ensuring that such communications are taking place and encourage managers to keep the lines of communication open with their employees. Lastly, implement a Rewards and Recognition Program. Say Thank You to your employees for their hard work.
Being prepared in a candidate driven market is the key to a successful recruiting process. Don’t get caught off guard – be proactive with both your candidates and your employees.