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It is widely known that the labour market is currently very tight, with a significant amount of demand when compared to the number of jobseekers available.

This urgency to fill in gaps has prompted companies to resort to desperation hiring, opting to oversell roles, exaggerate the company’s potential growth, and offer highly inflated salaries. Such desperation is also present with how companies treat their current employees, particularly when they are faced with someone potentially resigning, leading to them proposing counter-offers.

Counter-offers are a significant problem within the job market, as while they might work in the short term in terms of keeping someone at a company, they are largely ineffective in the long term, proving to be more of a “stall tactic and nothing else”. However, the short-term delight that a new offer brings leads to candidates to reject other opportunities, often at their own cost.

Speaking to MaltaCEOs.mt, Konnekt Recruitment Specialist Therisa Gambin reaffirmed this, stating that she often has cases where candidates back out of a potential job just because a counter-offer from their current employer was presented to them or a better opportunity came up.

Therisa Gambin / LinkedIn
Konnekt Recruitment Specialist Therisa Gambin / LinkedIn

Asked how recruiters deal with such situations, she remarked that during the recruitment process, they are “constantly speaking with a board of candidates and clients” so that they have a “clear understanding of how things are going”.

“Today, we are finding candidates to be more spoilt for choice, so we are starting to guide both the client and the candidate so that we can eliminate any extra interviews or contacts that do not match with one another. If I have candidates with four job offers and they tell me that my client is second or third in the list and that there are other clients that are more attractive, I have to be visible with my client,” she said.

Ms Gambin explained that she then proceeds to inform the client to ask whether they want to make any changes to their recruitment approach or job offer, always with the intention to anticipate both the candidate and the client to “avoid having to start the process back from square one”.

She said that when a candidate refuses an offer during the final stages of the recruitment process, recruiters then guide the candidate by asking whether they are “sure if they made the right decision or not”.

“In some cases, candidates get overwhelmed with the change and end up not choosing anything. In other cases, they have counter-offers, as employers realise that it would be better to keep the employee because of there being more demand for workers than supply. In such cases, we call the client and inform them about the situation, yet not every client reacts the same way,” Ms Gambin continued.

She added that there are some clients who are emotional, leading to recruiters to ask whether they want to revise the list of CVs or start from scratch. There are other instances where companies fail to accept the situation and “end up calling the candidate directly”.

Ms Gambin explained that the initial signs that a candidate is unsure about an offer and is considering others are unique to each person.

“In some cases, we notice that they are not that happy with the offer because they literally do not pick up the phone, while others are very open about it. Sometimes we have candidates who have job offers but keep on searching for jobs. There we tell them that they have offers but don’t seem interested in them, and then we proceed to drop the offers,” she said.

She pointed out that candidates will “always try to negotiate for a better offer”, even when at the final part of the recruitment process.

Ms Gambin was faced with such a situation recently, as five candidates she had job offers lined up for on Monday, opted against accepting them, leading to all of the hard work that she and the clients did over the past months to go “down the drain in an instant”.

Counter-offers ultimately “do not work”, she said, as when a candidate is at a point when they are ready to leave their job, contrary to what their employers tell them, “things along the line will not change for the better”.

When asked what recruiters tell clients to pre-empt the disappointment of a last-minute rejection, Ms Gambin said that recruiters “stay in contact” with clients to be honest and have “realistic expectations”.

“Sometimes clients seem desperate with candidates, even giving them an offer after the first interview. In most cases, the candidates want to see everything, and so the more you press them, the worse it gets,” she added.

“Nowadays, if you are not offering certain essential elements, you are placing yourself out of the market,” she explained, before pinpointing flexible work arrangements as one such factor.

“If you aren’t offering the option to work on a hybrid basis, something which many candidates are searching for, then you are immediately at a disadvantage and are deemed less attractive,” she concluded.

Ms Gambin has worked as a Recruitment Specialist at Konnekt for the past two years. She also possesses experience working in human resources and project coordination, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Malta and a Diploma in Leadership and Management from Business Leaders Malta.


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