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What do candidates really want?

What do candidates really want?

We’ve talked a lot in the past few blogs about the importance of selling candidates on opportunities at your company, but that’s often easier said than done if you don’t know what candidates want. As markets change and new generations take their places in the workforce, expectations for employers change—and it can be hard to keep up. To help you out, we’ve broken down many benefits and perks today’s candidates are looking for when seeking new opportunities.

How important are benefits?

Recent studies show that benefits are among the top factors candidates consider when looking for new opportunities, but also that employers aren’t offering the incentives employees really want.

While only 10 percent of employees said benefits are the most important factor when accepting or rejecting job offers, 80 percent said they would take a job with good benefits over one with more money and 55 percent said they would accept a job with lower pay if there were better benefits. Benefits are vital for recruitment and retention, and by keeping track of the benefits candidates are interested in, you can set your business above the rest.

The benefits candidates want

Candidates value many things in the workplace. Competitive pay immediately comes to mind, but these days, the additional benefits and perks are even more important than financial gain.

Regarding traditional benefits, 88 percent of workers say health benefits are important to them. These benefits can include medical, dental, vision or any other health-based benefit or perk. However, only 44 percent of employers actually offer these benefits. That number is even lower when it comes to mental health benefits. Only 15 percent of employers offer these benefits to their employees.

Paid time off and paid parental leave are also cited as key factors to employees looking for opportunities. We all know how important it can be to take a few days off to take care of personal or family business or just get away from the office, but unfortunately, only 36 percent of employers offer paid time off and only 13 percent offer paid parental leave. These benefits, including the opportunity for flexible schedules, are especially beneficial for those with children or other personal responsibilities.

Additional benefits candidates look for are bonuses. Just over 40 percent of employers ranked bonuses (especially holiday bonuses) as a preferred perk. Sign-on and retention bonuses can also encourage candidates to accept your offer and continue to perform above expectations for years to come.


Recruiting and keeping employees can be hard when you don’t understand what they want. At The James Allen Companies, we stay up-to-date on market trends so we always know what candidates need. By partnering with The James Allen Companies, we will help you identify the right candidates for your business and help you identify the benefits you need to get those candidates on board. Give us a call today to talk with a recruiter about attracting and retaining the candidates you need to help your business grow.

How You’re Striking Out With Candidates

How You’re Striking Out With Candidates

In our last blog, we talked about how to perfect your candidate pitch by writing the perfect job description. The job description is a key factor in getting candidates interested in your company’s position, but during the hiring process, every pitch matters and serves as an opportunity to sell your business to candidates.

With the US employment rate at its lowest in 18 years, we are facing a candidate-driven market with more jobs than candidates to fill them. For you, this means more competition for those star players.

Unfortunately, many companies haven’t adapted to this new market and still hire like candidates are desperate for employment. They’re not! Even after a candidate expresses interest in your company (based on that initial job description) it can be really easy to strike out and lose that candidate’s attention.

Strike One: Wasting the Candidate’s Time

There are a lot of ways to waste a candidate’s time and in this market, is that a risk you can afford?  A lengthy application and interviewing process are common ways to lose your candidates’ interest fast. Only 40 percent of candidates are willing to complete an application, especially if you are requiring them to include education and past experience while also asking for a resume.

Another way to waste your candidates’ time is to put them through the ringer of too many interviews. One, two, maybe even three interviews depending on the position could be appropriate, but the more you add, the more time you’re wasting. It’s also exhausting for candidates to take the time to attend so many interviews and potentially lose money or productivity from their current career to do so.

Strike Two: Failure to Sell the Opportunity

Don’t ask a candidate “Why do you want to work here?” Tell them why they should.

Candidates want to be sold on your businesses’ culture. They want to see that employees are staying for long periods of time and they want to know why. They want to know they’ll be listened to and understood by management. Allow candidates to meet current employees who can share their experiences at the company. Your current employees are your best testimonials and your biggest asset in the hiring process. Also, when evaluating passive candidates, realize they will have expectations for a fair and reasonable increase in their current salary.

Strike Three: Not Making A Decision

Hiring candidates can be difficult, but you eventually have to make a decision—and sooner is better than later. Candidates can tell when you’re not confident in your hiring decision. The more interviews you schedule, the longer it takes, the easier it is for them to lose interest in your opportunity.

You may have to get a little creative in regard to the type of candidate you will consider. Comparing your candidate pool to the perfect vision in your head is opening yourself up for disappointment. It’s important to remember candidates must have a reason for change. Passive applicants are open to exploring opportunities that will allow them to progress and grow their career. If the position they are evaluating is exactly the same as they have, then it will be difficult to secure their services.

Just like in baseball, hiring can be “one, two, three strikes you’re out.” Just like you are judging whether or not a candidate is right for your business, they are evaluating whether or not you are right for them. You sold them on the initial pitch, but you have to keep the momentum moving forward throughout the hiring process to make sure you don’t strike out.

The James Allen Companies works with you diligently to identify, evaluate and secure passive, qualified insurance talent. Call us to discuss your staffing needs.

How to Perfect Your Pitch to Candidates

How to Perfect Your Pitch to Candidates

With 2019 Major League Baseball season set to begin in just a few days, I got to thinking about the team dynamics of a baseball team. A baseball team has a 40-man active roster of both defensive and offensive players (batters as we call them). The nine men on the field playing defense all have their part defending the bases and monitoring the outfield with the catcher calling the shots for the pitcher. Every player is important, but the one that really determines how the game gets played is the pitcher.

Every team needs a good pitcher to throw those perfect no-hitter games. Think of your company in the same way. You have to be that perfect salesman, or pitcher, in order to get the job done. So how are you at pitching your company to potential candidates when there’s an open position at your company?

So, how do you make that perfect pitch?

The Details Matter

Selling your company to potential candidates begins with the job description. That initial pitch to your candidates needs to get them interested in the opportunity. Here are some basic tips to help you write the perfect pitch for your candidate. 

  • The job title. This is an obvious starting point for a job description as it literally tells a person what the position is. A good job title should reflect the nature of the job and the ranking order of where the position falls on the company’s roster.
  • A breakdown of daily tasks. Paint a picture for your candidate of what their day will look like in this position. You can include a breakdown of tasks by percentage, or, if the position is more flexible, explain what tasks will be completed throughout the course of the position.
  • The desired skills and competencies. These should be listed separately since they are two different things, however for the sake of time, we’re putting them together. Skills are activities that can be learned and measured over time like proficiency in Microsoft Office applications or other types of software. Competencies are the traits a person should be able to display for the position such as leadership or communication skills. 
  • Define the benefits. Telling candidates what they get from your company can set your company apart from others. If you offer good health insurance or paid time off, candidates will be more eager to pursue a position at your company.
  • Salary ranges. It always comes down to numbers. Candidates want to know they’ll be paid based on their experience and for the work they’ll put into your company. By offering a range, you can give a candidate a good idea of what their skills might be worth to your company.

Additional tips

Now that you know what elements you need for your perfect pitch, here’s some additional tips on how to make your pitch the best one in the league.

  • Spell check. Before handing over the job description to the recruiter who is helping you fill the position, check for any spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Make sure you check your formatting too. Big blocks of unorganized text can be an instant foul play in the eyes of a potential candidate.
  • Avoid cliches and focus on keywords. Don’t use terms like “rockstar” or “best-of-the-best” in a job description. Focus on terms that can actually be defined and measured so you don’t scare away candidates. You don’t want a candidate reading your job description to roll their eyes and move on to the next opportunity.

A decent job description can help set your company’s open positions apart from the rest, and while it’s only the first inning in the hiring game, it’s an important part of getting candidates interested.

At The James Allen Companies, we understand how important a good job description is for a candidate. With over 40 years of recruiting experience we know what can make or break a good pitch to potential candidates and can provide feedback and expertise on how to make your job descriptions perfect no-hitters.

Job Boards Don’t Work. We Do.

Job Boards Don’t Work. We Do.

It’s no secret the insurance industry is facing a talent shortage. An estimated 60 percent of the workforce is expected to retire in the next ten years and only about five percent of the incoming generation is interested in the insurance industry. These factors combined with an increase in technology-based positions result in a shortage of dedicated quality applicants for open positions at your company.

Due to these facts it is challenging to locate and secure the best candidates for open positions at your company in a timely manner. To find those candidates many internal recruiters or HR professionals choose to utilize the most common form of talent acquisition: online job boards. However, online job boards lead to more problems than solutions.

The problems with online job boards

Job boards are the go-to resource for active candidates searching to make a career change. These sites are flooded with millions of job seekers each day. When you post a job, it gets pushed to thousands of job seekers in a matter of seconds.Because of the high volume of traffic on these sites, you may receive resumes of active candidates for your open position.

While the idea of a plethora of candidate options may sound appealing, most of that traffic will be a waste of your time. Job boards tend to push postings to job seekers based on keywords in the job description without really understanding the actual requirements of the role. Because of this, you run the risk of receiving applicants who think they fit the frame of the advertised position (i.e. a job classified as management or sales) but have no relevant experience in the insurance industry. Job boards are ineffective when it comes to delineating truly qualified talent.

Based on keywords alone, you may receive applicants, but take into consideration the job seekers following the classic “apply for jobs you aren’t qualified for because you never know what will happen” advice. Now you have more unqualified/underqualified applicants on your hands eating up valuable resources.

Do you have the time to comb through all of these resumes looking for the one or two candidates who might be a great fit?

Even with high traffic, another limitation of online job boards is the type of candidates that apply. Job boards are swimming with countless active candidates searching for employment, but most of the time, those candidates aren’t the ones you need. The ideal candidate for your position is most likely a passive candidate, one who is happy, gainfully employed and successful in their current position, but if they are approached the right way may be persuaded to take a look at your career opportunity.  

We are the solution

So now what? You know a job board isn’t going to help you find the correct person to fill open positions at your company, but what will?

We will.

At The James Allen Companies, we don’t post advertisements in hopes that the right applicant will knock on your door. Instead, our recruiters are out searching for the appropriate candidate and knocking on their door. We know how to find those passive candidates who would be an excellent fit for your company given the right opportunity.

Wetake the time to interview and evaluate candidates, getting to know the person behind the resume. By doing so, we can analyze whether or not the candidate has the correct skills, personality and previous success to meet your company’s needs. We focus on delivering only qualified candidates to your door.

Nothing costs a business more than an open position. Instead of wasting your payroll combing through endless stacks of resumes, we use our nearly four decades of experience to find you better candidates faster, saving you money. While using online resources to find candidates that fit your business is tempting to many, partnering with The James Allen Companies is your best chance for finding quality applicants. We are the experts at locating, obtaining and delivering candidates that best fit your needs. To learn more about us or speak with one of our experienced recruiters, give us a call at (573) 334-3688 or visit our website jamesallenco.com.

What Your Silence Says to Candidates

What Your Silence Says to Candidates

Composer Claude Debussy said that music was the silence between the notes. An old adage states that silence is golden. Mark Twain reminded us that it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. There are a lot of ways to say it, but it seems to be universally accepted that silence is tremendously valuable. Except when it comes to hiring. The more silence you allow to invade the process, the more opportunity you give your competitors to steal away potential candidates.

Many companies are unaware of how the quiet spaces between the various stages can affect candidate enthusiasm, so we have outlined some of the more perilous areas where silence can be especially damaging.

After First Contact

Once you have made initial contact with a candidate, you cannot overestimate their excitement and tenacity. This is a crucial time where you can either start things on the right foot by reciprocating that desire to move further or you give them room to pause by leaving them in the dark. We all know that we only get one chance to make a good first impression, so it is vital that the impression candidates have of you is one that resonates clear communication and a healthy interest.

Throughout the Process

If you have decided to move a candidate forward to the next step, communicate with them how that transition will work. People want to know what to expect, and they like to know when to expect it. Transparency is crucial for both parties. As the hiring company, you hope for and expect honesty and clarity from those you hire. It stands to reason they deserve as much in return. At this crucial point, silence can be translated as a lack of interest, which can inspire your prospective hire to abandon the process or seek out companies who won’t leave them in the dark.

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

Even the companies that exhibit great communication throughout the hiring process can find themselves taking their eye off the ball. Perhaps you have found a great candidate. You’ve been responsive. They’ve interacted well. You extend a verbal offer, and they accept. This is the point where too many organizations allow themselves to become too comfortable and allow too much time to lapse between the verbal commitment and something more official. Even the best candidate can be fickle, and at this important stage, silence breeds restlessness. Restlessness leads to recklessness. And recklessness can include abandoning a stagnant verbal offer for something more concrete.

Shorten the Silence

It stands to reason that you cannot be in constant communication with a candidate, but it is vital that you minimize opportunities for silence. There are innumerable variables that can deter a candidate; therefore, it doesn’t make sense to create additional roadblocks. Additionally, by reducing the silence throughout the process, you shorten the overall time it takes to locate and place the right person. The less time you spend between the stages of recruiting, interviewing, extending an offer and onboarding, the less opportunity there is for disruption.

At The James Allen Companies, we help reduce the silence while allowing you to stay focused on your day-to-day business. We are not only experts at locating and attracting the best professionals, we focus on finding passive candidates and bringing your opportunity front and center. Additionally, we keep these individuals engaged throughout the various stages while reducing the overall time it takes to make a hire by facilitating the logistics associated with interviews, offer proposal and onboarding. Partnering with us improves both you the level of professionals you place and the enthusiasm and drive they bring to your organization.

How to kill your career in one easy step

How to kill your career in one easy step

At The James Allen Companies, we are continuously working in earnest to help our candidates avoid the pitfalls and predicaments that threaten to undermine their attempts to further their professional success. Throughout the process, from the first resume to the first day at their new company, we leverage years of experience to help the individuals with whom we work navigate the unpredictable job market and improve their lives. Unfortunately there is one danger that stands above the others, luring too many candidates into the rocks with its siren song and forever leaving them professionally stranded:  the counteroffer.

 

We’ve written at length about the trap that is the counteroffer, but its recent resurgence has inspired us to remind our candidates of just how deceptive a counteroffer is, especially in today’s candidate-driven job market.

 

COUNTERACTIVE

If your goal is to advance within your career, there are few things you can do that are worse than accepting a counteroffer. Advancement requires courage. Accepting a counteroffer is hardly intrepid. A counteroffer is the quickest way to neutralize your career, ensuring nothing except that your path forward will only be more difficult. Your current employer will only see a person halfway out the door, which means opportunities for growth and promotion will be all but null. The company you turned down will no longer view you as a trustworthy option. With a tattered reputation and no viable options, the best you can hope to gain by accepting a counteroffer is maybe a little more money and only for as long as your current employer keeps you on board.

 

COUNTERPRODUCTIVE

The great fallacy of the counteroffer is that it is the successful result of leveraging an offer against your present employer. There is only one real winner when a counteroffer is accepted:  your employer. A counteroffer buys them time. Time to use your energy and insight to resolve projects and time to find your replacement. If a counteroffer wasn’t advantageous for them, they wouldn’t extend it. And if they realized and respected your value, it shouldn’t have taken the threat of departure to earn their attention.

 

COUNTERINTUITIVE

If you think of a counteroffer as an “option,” think again. The time to vie for improving your current employment is not in the eleventh hour. No one likes to be on the receiving end of an ultimatum, especially an employer who, on top of feeling pressured, likely feels betrayed. Accepting a counteroffer is essentially pouring lighter fluid on the bridge between you and your current employer and then handing them the lighter. When the time comes (and it will) that your employer decides to ignite that bridge, you will be dismayed to discover that your relationship among recruiters and other companies has left you with little options and less opportunity.

 

If you are seeking other opportunities only with the intention of leveraging a counteroffer, stop. Aside from the enormous waste of resources you are creating for all those involved, you are taking active steps toward destroying your career potential. If you are legitimately seeking a better opportunity, it won’t be found with your current employer. Don’t lose sight of the reasons you decided to pursue a new organization, and don’t cost yourself a better position and a greater opportunity by falling for the counteroffer trap.

Worried about retaining millennials? Start focusing on Gen Z.

Worried about retaining millennials? Start focusing on Gen Z.

Last December we published an article titled “Our Last Word on Millennials.” And we meant it. If you haven’t already gone through the process of addressing your hiring processes and adjusting them to target millennials, you’re too late. This is not to say that there still isn’t a vital need to continue to develop hiring practices that are designed with millennials in mind, but millennials no longer represent the incoming class of young insurance talent. Generation Z is matriculating as we speak and entering the workforce with a set of skills and ideas that won’t readily mesh with millennial-focused recruitment efforts (and don’t even think about refurbishing your Gen X practices for this group).

 

For forward-thinking companies who recalibrated to attract generation viewed as the polar opposite of the baby boomers, their millennial recruiting victories may be short lived. Now, as the economy flourishes and the job market begins to favor jobseekers, a new hurdle is keeping the talent that they worked so hard to attract. When considering how to retain one generation, it may seem counterintuitive to discuss how to attract the next generation, but a closer look reveals that the two issues go hand in hand.

 

Forward-thinking Practices Breed Commitment

If you think millennials are eager to jump ship for the next best offer, please refer to the article linked in the first paragraph. The myth that millennials are more likely to switch jobs is long debunked. They represent a generation that witnessed a collapse of the job market and what is most important to them is security. Most job changes made by millennials are not motivated by their current wants but by their desire to increase their chances for a more financially stable future. The way your company approaches hiring Gen Z is a reflection of your perceived longevity. Companies that are mired in old practices do not instill a great amount of confidence in their millennial employees. Millennials want to work for companies that are continuing to think about and work for a profitable future. When you actively work to attract this young class of talent, you send a message to your millennial workforce that you care about their future.

 

The Future of Insurtech

As the ongoing talent crisis created by the mass exodus of boomers has many companies working to find and promote millennial talent into the roles being made vacant by these vertical shifts, the demand for innovative technologies within the insurance sector continues to rise. While there are certainly individuals of all generations skilled in this particular segment, it will take a concerted effort to attract Gen Z to satisfy the entry level tech needs of an evolving insurance landscape.

 

The impending changes to the insurance industry as it relates to technology are inevitable. In the coming weeks, we at The James Allen Companies will continue to provide meaningful content regarding the growing field of insurtech. We also understand that at the core of the insurance industry is people, and we believe that the most important factor in meeting the changing technology needs of the industry is attracting the right people. The first step toward solidifying your company’s future and instilling a sense of security among your team begins with a renewed focus on bringing in the next young generation of insurance professionals.

Getting the Most out of Your Recruiter:  Communication is Key

Getting the Most out of Your Recruiter: Communication is Key

As we approach the conclusion of our series intended to equip candidates with key insight integral to their success, let’s consider what we’ve covered and how this final installment fits within the greater theme. In the first chapter of the series, we began with the end in mind. We discussed the dangers of counteroffers and how they can upend your professional growth. In the second chapter we approached the other end of the process, helping you understand why now is the time to capitalize on today’s candidate-driven market. From making the decision to explore opportunities to overcoming counteroffers, it is vital that candidates listen to and communicate with their recruiter.

 

The importance of open and honest communication may seem obvious, but its value to the recruiting process cannot be overstated. What we must reinforce is that the recruiter’s goal is to make the best possible match between candidate and company. We are trying to help individuals elevate their careers, and to do so, there needs to be reciprocal communication at all stages of the process.

 

MAKING THE DECISION TO MOVE

A career change can be a dramatic, life-altering occasion, and we believe that it is not something to be entered into lightly. We want to help our candidates improve their professional lives, and we believe that how that affects their personal lives is paramount. Among the numerous variables to consider, we stress that compensation should not be at the top of the list. Finding the right organization is more than finding the one that will pay the most directly out of the gate. Geography, company culture, and opportunities for growth should be among the most important factors a candidate considers when deciding to seek out new opportunities. It’s to the candidate’s benefit to be thoroughly transparent with their recruiter about why it is they would consider a change and what it is they are truly looking for.

 

THE PROCESS

From preparing and polishing one’s resume to prepping for interviews, a candidate needs to keep in mind that the recruiter is more than a conduit between themselves and potential employers. When given the complete picture of a candidate’s needs and wants, a recruiter can be an effective advocate. Throughout the process, recruiters are most effective when they have honest feedback both from the employers and from the candidates. Additionally, not only is it vital that communication be open and honest, but it should also be timely. Being slow to respond or completely unresponsive erodes leverage that might help recruiters assist candidates in pursuing and achieving their favored opportunities.

 

TRANSITIONING

Recruiters like us at The James Allen Companies do not consider the job completed once a candidate has accepted an offer. The transitioning phase can be one riddled with questions and concerns for all parties involved. Continuing to maintain open and available communication helps ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible.

 

At The James Allen Companies, we are committed to creating matches between employers and candidates that exhibit the potential to be mutually beneficial. We want to help organizations find the people best equipped to help them grow, and we want to help candidates land opportunities with the promise of helping them achieve their professional goals. Ultimately, what is most important for our candidates to understand is that we are concerned with helping you achieve those goals, and we have the best chance of success when there is consistent and reliable communication through all portions of the process. The more engaged a candidate is, the more likely we are to succeed.

Getting the Most Out of Your Recruiter:  Capitalizing on a Candidate’s Market

Getting the Most Out of Your Recruiter: Capitalizing on a Candidate’s Market

In our first installment of this three-part series focusing on the advantages of a quality recruiter for candidates we took you to the end of the process:  counteroffers. We did this for a number of reasons. Counteroffers are historically and statistically a detriment to the candidate. They serve as little more than an insult from a current employer who is likely doing what they can to retain an employee long enough to find their replacement. Accepting a counteroffer is also a quick way to irreparably damage one’s reputation, sending the message to the current employer, the prospective company and the recruiter that a candidate lacks integrity and honesty. Another reason why accepting a counteroffer can prove to be counterproductive is what brings us to this, our second installment on Getting the Most Out of Your Recruiter.

 

THE MARKET SHOULD MOVE YOU FORWARD

It’s little mystery that today’s insurance job market is candidate driven; however, it is this type of environment that can allow candidates to become a little too complacent. A candidate-driven market is not enough on its own to put insurance professionals on the fast track to success and upward mobility. Using the rising demand for talent as a lever within your current company is an enormous misstep, as it relates to the market. There are undoubtedly great opportunities out there for talented professionals with the dedication and drive to capitalize and further their careers. That being said, it makes little sense to use those opportunities as empty threats to pressure your current employer into offering a little more salary.

 

THE FOREST FOR THE TREES

With a candidate-driven market you will likely find many qualifying opportunities. Perhaps too many. This is really where one begins to appreciate the value of an experienced and knowledgeable recruiter. Understanding markets and knowing companies is their profession. Tasking yourself with evaluating multiple opportunities while balancing your current responsibilities can be more than difficult, it can be impossible. Working with a recruiter entrenched in the insurance industry provides you with a perspective that can focus your search and help you connect with an organization that can truly offer you the ability to maximize your career potential.

 

A CHANCE TO STAND APART

While every other candidate is relying on the market to do the work for them, these are the conditions in which the best can truly separate themselves from the pack. The market is like a current that has potential to carry candidates down the river, but those with the tenacity to still swim will find that they will go much farther, much faster. So how does one swim with the current? Many candidates approach this market with a “what’s in it for me” mentality. Imagine the refreshing shock potential employers will experience when they interview individuals who show up prepared, professional and interested in how they can help the company. Organizations will cling tightly and reward dearly those forward-thinking professionals who exhibit the willingness and the aptitude to go above and beyond regardless of what the job market dictates.

 

At The James Allen Companies, we have long been helping great people connect with great organizations in all job climates. We bring years of real industry experience and recruiting expertise to the table, which carries a great deal of weight with the clients for whom we recruit. The insurance job market today is positioned in such a way that candidates who are savvy enough to utilize the services and commit to the advice of experienced recruiters can enjoy success like never before.

Getting the Most out of Your Recruiter:  Understanding Counteroffers

Getting the Most out of Your Recruiter: Understanding Counteroffers

If you are potentially open to exploring new opportunities, a recruiter can be a valuable, if not vital, ally. The benefits of a dedicated recruiter go beyond providing access to options, which in and of itself is a hefty benefit. A quality recruiting professional can provide the resources and recommendations to help you stand apart from other applicants, and they do this at no charge to you. To provide candidates with a better understanding of how recruiters can help them, we have developed this series to present three unique perspectives of the job search and hiring process and how a recruiter can help you overcome obstacles and create opportunities. We will discuss everything from better understanding how the overall insurance market is ideal for dedicated and driven professionals to elevate their careers to the importance of communication throughout the process. While this series does not entirely encompass the total value of a recruiter, it should provide you with a greater understanding of their necessity throughout the process.

 

In his bestselling work The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey urged his readers to “begin with the end in mind,” and that’s what we’d like to do in this series, which is why we open with one of the final hurdles of the hiring process:  counteroffers. The topic of counteroffers is an apt one because it should serve as a reminder of why you began the process, and why it is important to understand a counteroffer for what it really is.

 

WHY ARE YOU POTENTIALLY OPEN TO A CHANGE?

At The James Allen Companies, when we approach a potential candidate with an opportunity, we are interested to know what factors are important in a new opportunity. Salary is only one component but it can’t be the sole reason for considering a change. In the full spirit of disclosure, we are exceedingly hesitant to work with individuals whose only driving force is a better salary. We are looking for dedicated and driven professionals who have the vision to look beyond salary and consider other cultural and professional factors. If we feel that your aspirations and attributes are a match with our client, then we help facilitate and navigate the process. If the process culminates in an offer, then you may have to contend with a counteroffer. If a counteroffer occurs, it creates an opportunity to reflect on why you chose to seek out and accept a new position with a new company. It is also a good time to refresh yourself on the truth and consequences regarding counteroffers.

 

A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

Before going any further, it’s imperative to see a counteroffer for what it really is. Keep in mind that at this point you have accepted an offer from a company excited to bring you on board. The counteroffer is presented when you tender your resignation for your current company. In reality, the counteroffer is an insult, a last-ditch effort to save the company from an inconvenience. Loyalty is vital, and a counteroffer is the opposite of loyalty. It’s an act of desperation that your former employer will use to allow themselves more time to find your replacement. To accept a counteroffer is to sacrifice more than a great opportunity, but it is to sacrifice your reputation, and all for an empty gesture that will most assuredly end poorly.

 

WHAT IF YOU ACCEPT THE COUNTEROFFER?

If you were to accept a counteroffer from your current employer what can you reasonably expect to change other than your salary? If you’re lucky, nothing will change, but statistics suggest you probably won’t be that lucky. According to numerous industry reports, 70 to 80 percent of people who accept counteroffers either leave or are let go within a year. Either you discover that the same reasons that led you to seek new opportunities persist and you find yourself back on the hunt (only now, most likely, with one less option since the company whose offer you rejected in favor of the counteroffer is likely no longer interested), or your company retains you long enough so that they can seek out your replacement. Even if you are one of the 20 to 30 percent of people who make it beyond that year, how will you handle future negotiations? How do you think you will be received in future negotiations? Accepting a counteroffer doesn’t move you forward but only keeps you mired in the past.

 

If the only way to inspire your company to reward you is through the threat of accepting a new offer, is this the kind of company in which you really have a future? You sacrifice more than just a new opportunity when you accept a counteroffer. You sacrifice your reputation with your current employer, other companies and recruiters. Ultimately, a counteroffer is never going to take into account the most important reasons for seeking out a new opportunity. A counteroffer is not going to improve your professional ambitions. It is not going to improve your career. What it should do, however, is remind you why you chose to move on in the first place, and why you’ve made the right choice.