Business Travel Industry Recruitment

Lynne Griffiths

The good, the bad and the counter offer!

It’s not news that the business travel industry is facing its most challenging time in terms of recruitment. Never have we faced such talent shortages and had to get up to speed in business terms from 0 -100 almost overnight. Of course, there are staff shortages – it’s frustrating to expect a level of pre-planning when there was no clue when borders and travel were going to resume. People had to leave the business travel industry to live, to pay their bills and overcome the trauma of being part of arguably the hardest hit industry due to the pandemic.

So, we now have a highly active, aggressive recruitment market and Sirius Talent Solutions has been advocating for months, the need to be more open to transferable skills, to review salary levels, to practice staff engagement best practice and to fully prioritise staff retention whilst practising an efficient, well-mannered recruitment process.

I’ll not lie – it’s frustrating. We still see long drawn-out processes, closed minds to non-business travel industry experience, trying to offer at pre-pandemic salary levels and not treating candidates with the time and respect that should be second nature.

But, moving on – an offer is made and the candidate resigns. That’s when the counter offer is more than likely to happen. There is a common statistic that is often thrown around by hiring companies and recruiters at this point, something like:

9 out of 10 candidates who accept a counter offer leave their current employer within twelve months.

There is actually no formal research or evidence to support this, however, consider why the candidate is motivated to participate in a recruitment process? What is making them unhappy or unfulfilled in their current job? If it’s purely money, perhaps the counter offer will address the issue (although why wasn’t it offered before the job search stage?) but often there is more behind the job search. For example, lack of prospects, poor work/life balance, damaging line management, dissatisfaction with the company culture. Those reasons do not change with a salary counter offer, so the novelty will wear off and that will likely happen in a matter of months.

So, here are some great reasons why a candidate should NOT accept a counter offer:

1.     Nothing changes except salary. The underlying issues that prompted you to consider other job opportunities will remain – things and people don’t change overnight.

2.     Your future employer sees potential in you that your current employer does not. Taking on a new employee is a risk, so if your future employer sees potential in you, why not seize the opportunity?

3.     Great things never come from staying within your comfort zone. You may feel familiar and comfortable with your current employer, but does it bring you the job satisfaction that you want? Often, a change will bring growth and transformation.

4.     You have not been paid what you are worth. If your employer is willing to adjust your salary when you are at resignation stage, then your employer is knowingly underpaying you for your talent and efforts.

5.     Trust is broken between you and your current employer. Often, resignation is seen as “lack of loyalty,” and your current employer may now question if they can count on you, which may become a lingering and negative factor in future decision making.

6.     People who accept a counter offer may have a growing feeling that they have been bought rather than rewarded for the work they have done. This dissatisfaction will eventually affect your sense of belonging to the company.

The reality is that some candidates will play the recruitment market for manipulative reasons – to get more xyz from their current employer (especially as salary levels are being driven up due to the current talent shortage).

However, in our experience, the vast majority are honest and sincere in wanting to achieve professional growth (often including financial benefit and there’s nothing wrong with that!). Right now, it’s their market so at the risk of repeating ourselves – hiring managers, hiring companies – you need to acknowledge that and look openly and honestly at how good an employer you are – do you value your employees to the absolute best of your ability? What are you doing to retain your employees? What makes you an employer of choice in today’s competitive recruitment market?

To help you gain a competitive advantage, get in touch with Sirius Talent Solutions – we have a number of recruitment, HR and training services available on a retained or an outsourced basis.