We all know that feeling – we bring a great candidate to our client, they’re starstruck, make the offer, and... The candidate declines it. In an increasingly competitive market, we are now seeing candidates getting multiple offers and counteroffers as companies compete for talent. This means that many recruiters are seeing deals fall through at the offer stage.
As usual, Firefish comes with a solution! And it’s one that can be found right at the start of the process when you are qualifying your candidate. This is when you should be finding out their key motivations and uncovering any potential red flags - such as a candidate shopping for an offer only to take it to their employer and get a counter.
So how do you detect those tough candidates? As it might not be easy, there are a few things you could do. Here are 5 of the most important questions you can ask your candidates to help improve your chances of getting them to accept your offer:
1. Why are you leaving your current role?
This is a fundamental question that you should be asking every candidate - but you already know that, right? It uncovers a lot of information that you can use to improve your chances of placing them. It allows you to understand their reasons for leaving their current role, which means now you have a clear view of what motivates them. Is it money because they were being paid too low? Is it company culture because they felt unvalued? Or something completely different?
With that powerful knowledge, you can not only find them a perfect role but also use it as leverage when talking to them at the offer stage!
This question will also help you uncover if your candidate is only in the market for a counteroffer, especially if they are unable to give you a good enough reason for leaving their current role.
2. What working environment are you looking for?
Especially in current times, it’s particularly important to understand the environment and work schedule your candidate is looking for. Having a clear view of your candidate’s preferred working location (home/office) and hours (e.g., flexible) will make sure you match them to a role that they accept and stay in.
For office-based roles, the commute can make a huge difference to candidates when they are considering two similar offers. If your candidate is looking for a hybrid role, it’s important to ask them about their preferred mix of days spent in the office and at home to make sure the role you’re offering suits the lifestyle they are looking for.
After you're done with the questions, there are a few more steps to take to ensure your candidate's offer doesn't fall through:
3. Tell me about your previous role
This seems like an obvious question for qualifying your candidate’s skillset, right? Well, not just that! If you dig deeper when questioning your candidate on their previous roles, you can uncover the aspects they liked and disliked about their past responsibilities and companies. Knowing what drives your candidate, what they appreciate or hate in a job will allow you to find a perfect match for them. You can now play to their preferences – so when you’re closing them, they simply can’t say no. ‘You didn’t like the long hours because it took away the possibility to spend time with your kids? No problem! This position offers an early Friday finish’ – and now they’re hooked!
4. How do you like to be managed?
It’s no secret that one of the main reasons people leave a role is that they don’t get on with the management team. Questioning your candidate on how they like to be managed is great for making sure you are matching your candidate with a hiring manager that they will want to work for.
Ensure you’re aware of different management styles and research your clients on what style they implement. If your candidate is nervous about the culture of the company that they are joining they will be hesitant to accept an offer, and in the case of a particularly bad fit, leave within the rebate period. And you can wave your fee goodbye!
You will often find that getting a good candidate vs hiring manager fit goes a long way to getting the candidate an offer in the first place! How? Easy. If your hiring manager can see themselves working with your candidate, they are much more likely to want to make them an offer.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ah, here we go again – the most basic interview question, right? Not quite. Getting to know a candidate’s long-term goals and then being able to fit those into the role you’re trying to place them in is crucial. You need to be able to show a candidate exactly how the opportunities offered by your client will be a path toward their dream destination! After all, if your candidate can visualise their goals being reached in that specific company you’re selling them on, you’ve basically made a placement already.
This method can also help if your candidate is focused solely on the financial aspects of a role – if they can think of different goals they’d like to achieve and see the value in them, they’ll be less likely to take a counteroffer later on.
To learn everything there is about managing your candidates, make sure to download our short eBook below:
David is a Senior Growth Outreach Specialist at Firefish. After working as a 360 recruiter, he loves innovating recruitment with Firefish Software.