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Jan 7

Our company has lost two candidates to other positions. What can we do to prevent this?

Dear Recruiter,


My company and I have made two offers to candidates recently that were turned down. One of them accepted a counteroffer, and the other ended up going to a different company. Ultimately it wasn’t the right fit, but what can we do in the future to prevent this?





I’m sorry to hear that’s been happening, but know that you are not alone. With unemployment numbers being as low as they are, there is a greater demand for superior talent, and competition for this talent can become heated.  Although you can’t prevent it 100% of the time, you can hedge against it happening the majority of the time.

Our founder, Dirk Cotterell, regularly reminds us that “the answers are in the questions” and this situation is no different. By asking three questions during the interview process, issues and challenges that can impede the hiring of this candidate may be brought to the surface. Note: These questions may make you uncomfortable asking them, but know that they are not taboo!

Question 1: What other positions are you interviewing for? How does our position rank against the others?

  • This quickly gets the issue on the table you’ll know where you stand. If you are number one, they’ll more than likely tell you. If you’re not the first option, they’ll tell you that your position is “right up there with the others.” You can then adjust your efforts based off of their response.


Question 2: Have you talked to your boss about your frustrations regarding your current positions? What have they done to remedy the situation?

  • If they haven’t given their current leadership a chance to make things better, the counteroffer could carry more weight. If they have talked to their boss and nothing has happened, the counteroffer becomes even more shallow.


Question 3: If we were to make you an offer, how quickly would you be able to make a decision?

  • This is another way to help you understand where your position ranks amongst the others. If yours is number one, they’ll accept more quickly and readily. If your position isn’t, they’ll indicate that they want to see another position through. Then you adjust your efforts accordingly.


I hope this helps, Dan. Make sure to check back for additional suggestions regarding this topic. It’s a problem/challenge that comes up regularly!