How to secure a candidate with multiple job offers

Written by Byron Fitzgerald on September 4, 2018

You’ve decided on your preferred candidate and you want to extend them an offer – you’re excited and relieved that the process (seems to be) complete. You then find out they have multiple offers from your competitors. No need to panic just yet – there are plenty of things you can do to secure them!

Some marketplaces are candidate driven (more candidates than vacancies), and some are vacancy driven (more vacancies than available candidates). If you are in the latter, the following advice is critical to you. If you are in the former, it is still worth paying attention to!

When the professionals you desperately need to fill your strategic goals are in such short supply, you will need firm, reliable, strategic levers to pull to ensure you don’t get left behind.

What to do when your candidate has multiple offers?

(1)   Think about how competitive your remuneration package is

e have noticed quite a few companies have a tendency to offer low and negotiate up. This can cause delays which could cost you talent. Offer your most competitive remuneration package upfront – if your candidate wants more, drop them and offer the backup (this is a fair decision because you’re already at the upper limit of your offer), and if they accept then great – you haven’t lost them to the competition because of negotiation delays!

Make sure that you understand the finer details of your candidate’s current remuneration, and expected remuneration for your position (including benefits!). This way, you can offer something you know they will be impressed with when the time comes because you know their appetite/sensitivity to particular structures of compensation packages/how much goes in to particular benefits.

(2)   Sell your opportunity to them – people want to be reeled in!

We see a lot of candidates turning down job offers (and accepting others) because the role wasn’t sold to them as it should have been. Recruitment processes are not a one-way street – just as much as it is an opportunity for you to hire a great candidate, it is also an opportunity for the candidate to land a fantastic opportunity, and they need educated on exactly this!

Make sure the candidate knows what the highlights of the role are. Does it have great career progression? Flexible working hours? Awesome benefits? Amazing company culture? High level of autonomy in the role? Make sure they know this, as any of these factors could be the tipping point the candidate needs to accept the position!

(3)   Keep your hiring process short & efficient

A lot of our candidates have slipped through the net because our clients’ processes were too long. There is no need to have 8 interviews for an Account Manager, probably not even for a Vice President position! The phrase ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ couldn’t be more relevant here. Too many stakeholders makes the process longer, and decision making gets slow.

If your preferred candidate receives two offers from your competitors but you have 3 interviews yet to schedule, they will very rarely wait around for you to conclude.

The best way to tighten up your timelines on hiring processes is to work with a well-established recruitment company. They will have managed hundreds of processes, possibly thousands and are very well placed to advise you on the best length of process to maximise the likelihood of hiring the best talent. Obviously the other extreme won’t work either (just a telephone call!) but urgency is key in getting the right talent through your door, and not your competitors’.

(4)   Get expert advice

Recruitment Consultants are literally trained to manage recruitment processes in the most efficient way possible, with the view to make sure their clients get the best candidates. If their clients aren’t happy, then those clients will look elsewhere, so a Recruitment Consultant’s incentives are perfectly aligned with yours. We notice some clients are hesitant to enter in to a ‘partnership’ relationship with Recruitment Consultants as though they are an opposing force to be wary of (still something we are trying to figure out the reason for!), but once you feel satisfied with their abilities, take them seriously and listen to their advice.

Although it might seem more practical to manage the negotiations/interview scheduling directly, Recruitment Consultants have superior experience/knowledge in this field and so you should be using them to help you in this regard. They will also (probably) have an informal element to their relationship with the candidate, meaning they can negotiate more effectively for you, and can extract & field all of the candidate’s objections (not just the ones they would feel comfortable telling the employer).

Bottom line?

Offer a competitive remuneration package, sell your opportunity, keep your hiring process tight and urgent, and listen to recruiters! Some recruiters are obviously better than others, so find one you are happy with and stick with them.

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