3 ways to stop other companies taking your candidate

Sometimes, the client experience can feel a bit like buying a house. I put forward a great candidate, they do a perfect interview and are offered the job. Client and candidate are happy. At least until someone else comes along with a better offer and lo and behold – that client has been ‘gazumped’ by the lure of a higher salary.

This happened to one of my clients recently, with the candidate turning down a role (despite already having accepted it) for the sake of a few thousand pounds and a job miles away from where they lived. It made me think, what could my client have done to stop this happening?

The fact is, the market is picking up, so clients have to raise their game with what they offer. The latest Jobs Outlook from the REC shows that almost half of employers believe they will increase their workforce in the next 12 months, with only a tiny proportion planning for it to get smaller.

That means clients have to be prepared to match the packages on offer not just financially, but in other ways. Yes, the baseline salary is important, but what else can they offer to a potential recruit? Here are my top three suggestions:

1. Make your benefits package clear. Many people don’t understand the financial value of a pension, or the opportunity to buy childcare vouchers or get a season ticket loan. Think about illustrating this to them in a clear way so they can imagine how it would benefit them every month

2. What ‘soft’ benefits can you offer them? Perhaps you allow a portion of the week for them to pursue their own projects, or a certain number of ‘duvet’ days per year. Any of these seemingly small benefits can make a big difference to how you are perceived by the candidate.

3. Benchmark your company against your competitors. Make sure that you know what the market rate is, and if you’re looking for hard-to-source skills, try and beat that with the salary you offer. As my example illustrates, sometimes just a few thousand pounds can make all the difference in a candidate’s eyes.

As confidence gets higher and we emerge from these not so rosy economic times, it will be having candidates with the right skills, who enjoy their work and are engaged, that will help your company to be competitive. So just like buying a house, do some preparation first and make yourself look nice… and make sure you follow up on those promises.

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