As each of us takes the necessary steps to manage our own loss prevention career, there are many factors that weigh on the decision to follow our current career path, or make a change that alters our future and takes us in a different direction. Whether changing companies or simply taking on a job or a role that carries different responsibilities, we realize that these choices can have a lasting impact on our personal lives as well as our loss prevention career, and no such decision should be taken lightly. Even when we know that we are making a strong decision, we can still face the stress and anxiety that comes with change.
The same holds true for every candidate as they transition between jobs. There are many ways that a candidate search can derail between the time an offer is accepted and the time that an employee arrives for their first day of work, and every effective leader must learn to manage this transition and maintain the interest and enthusiasm of their new-hire employees during this time period.
During such transitions we must also consider that the company that currently employs our candidate likely doesn’t want to lose their top talent, and may very well take steps to try to keep them. They will want to protect their investment. They will want to maintain current performance and productivity. They will often have succession plans in place that serve the long-term objectives of the department and the organization. Companies will fight to keep their top talent, and will make concerted efforts to convince them to remain part of their team. As a result, counter offers often follow.
The Counter Offer
Counter offers can come in several different forms, to include:
- The current employer may offer the candidate a raise or other financial benefit
- The candidate may be offered a promotion
- The candidate may be offered a different role, responsibility, or position that they find appealing
- The candidate may be told of future plans that will benefit their loss prevention career in some way
- The candidate may be lured with the promise of any of these benefits in the future
- Leadership may appeal to the candidate’s commitment, loyalty, or security
- Leadership may invoke doubt, uncertainty, or insecurity in the new role or company
In response, having a plan for managing counter-offers and other potential influences that can impact a candidate’s decision will carry significant weight in the outcome of many searches. Knowing how to manage the transition will often determine the success of the search and help secure the best candidates.
Securing Top Candidates
Securing top candidates is a skill; and one that must be developed. There are several simple but important steps that can be taken to keep our new hires focused and enthused during their job transition:
Remain proactive. Anticipate that the candidate’s current employer will take the steps to keep them. If we simply wait to react to a candidate’s second thoughts or apprehension, we can quickly find ourselves in an unwanted situation that may lead to an unfulfilled job search.
Reinforce the candidate’s decision to make the move. During the interview process, we often ask candidates the reasons why they are interested in our position and our company. Continue to look for opportunities to support those reasons even after the candidate has accepted the job.
Look for ways to allow the candidate to “own” their new position. Find ways for the candidate to see themselves in the new job, some of the new responsibilities that they will have, some of the team members that they will be working with, and other means to positively reinforce how the new position will support the growth and development of their loss prevention career.
Don’t go negative. The best candidates take pride in their accomplishments, their roles, their mentors, and their companies. Negative comments about peer programs in these situations is inappropriate and unprofessional, and can easily lead to unwanted outcomes. Focus on the positive aspects of where they’re going rather than the opportunities that existed where they’ve been.
Keep the channels of communication open. Stay in touch with the candidate during the transition between jobs. Ask them to give you a call after they’ve tendered their resignation as a sign of support and an affirmation of their decision. Offer to answer or get answers to additional questions that often surface during this time period, and let them know that they can count on your support. Then follow up.
Stay confident, controlled, and enthusiastic. Let the candidate know that they’ve made the right decision through your actions as well as your words. Positive energy is contagious and sends a strong message. Be the leader that they’re looking for and the mentor that can take them to the next level in their loss prevention career.
For more tips on the hiring process and how to hire the most talented professionals, read the LP Magazine article “Learning to Hire Talent is Key to a Successful Loss Prevention Career.”