The vital stage of the recruitment process is immediately after a candidate accepts a new job; the time from an offer being made to a candidate starting is by far the most volatile part of the whole process and here’s why…
Digital is quite unique; it is in a protective bubble. While so many other industries are on the brink of collapse and are, at best, suffering long term pay freezes, Digital is immune. If Digital were a football club it would be Manchester City…
The biggest difficulty in Digital is fulfilling the growth. There are far more jobs than good digital candidates available and the growth is ongoing. So rest assured when someone decides to leave a business then unless they are a complete liability there is a strong chance they’ll be incentivised to stay. I know of a recent example of a digital candidate with less than 1 year’ experience taken out for a meal by the MD of the global agency he was working for to convince him to stay.
So with that in mind the recruitment process becomes difficult after a candidate accepts a new job. Obviously as a recruiter I want a candidate to take the new role. Not just because it benefits me, but also because hopefully throughout the process the candidate has come to the conclusion they should move and it is in their best interest to do so. My advice to anyone who wants to stay at their current company but is not happy in their current role or with their current salary is: go speak with your manager, make it clear that you are not happy and ask them to address it. Don’t use an offer from another company as your sword. Yes it is an effective strategy but making someone give you something is very different to them wanting to give it to you and long term that will come info focus.
Digital agencies are now fueling an increase in recruitment by simply offering new deals to employees who hand in notice. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise that if you are good at your job, and if your company has a track record of ‘buying people back’, there is an easy way to a pay rise or promotion. But it is not sustainable. The employer may well resent the employee for forcing their hand once the dust has settled. Companies and employees need to speak more regularly about frustrations and problems openly. A candidate putting a gun to their employer’s head is wrong, and an employer only giving a candidate what they want when a gun is at their head is wrong as well! If communication improved, staff retention would too and we would not be subliminally educating people that the best way to get what you want is leveraging a job offer from another company and loyalty is for fools.
Only two weeks ago we placed a brilliant candidate in a new role and his major issue was that someone at his level got promoted before him because they handed in their notice and got a promotion which left him out in the cold. He was loyal; he was committed but was not rewarded.
For me it comes down to this. Right now in digital if you spend 5 years with one agency the chances are you will be paid less than someone who has spent 5 years working across 3 different agencies. However some agencies do have it right and are true meritocracies, moving to a company that values you from the start and will give you the pay rise and promotion you’re looking for, without you forcing their hand. But if I was heading up a Digital agency I would think very carefully about how a strategy of ‘buying back’ employees who resign affects others in their business.