The summer of multiple offers

Andy MountneyHaving hired in-house recruiting roles for over a decade, one of the things that has always stood out is: however much people talk about the talent agenda or the critical value of the in-house recruiting function, hiring in-house teams has typically always been a reactive hire.

My background was in rec-to-rec [recruitment-to-recruitment] so I know what a candidate market looks like; it’s no friend of the hiring company, and can drive some crazy offers. In the last decade I’ve never seen one for in-house recruiters.

The late summer changed that. A glimpse rather than a full change but it made for some intriguing anecdotal insights.

The rules did not apply to all; we still had a backdrop of redundancies and contractors being let go, with hiring organisations maintaining a high hiring bar. But for those lucky few, here’s what we saw.

• Multiple offers at a time. For much of the last few years, most in-house recruiters get an offer, and that’s it. Stay or leave, take it or stay on the market. Not for this brief period – typically three offers and the decision to withdraw from multiple other processes to take their pick

• You are probably already thinking it and rubbing your hands with glee based on the multiple offers. It’s finally time for that long-awaited salary kicker. Again not for all there are still plenty of flat moves happening – but again, typically for this brief period (that has not been sustained) an offer coming in at £10k-15k above current salary has been common, often above the candidate’s expectations

• There was also a rise in bonus schemes relating directly to performance, often bounty per hire in style offering a more significant total compensation than typically seen

• Opportunity. Well, obvious I guess but not as you might think. That extra money was not for the perfect hire for many companies; it was hiring a more junior profile into the existing specification. Making the HIPO [high potential] hire became the vogue call.

As ever there are caveats: it remains extremely difficult to secure a leadership role without current management experience, and the HIPO rarely translates to hiring from agency to in-house for the first time.

In the main, though, hiring organisations remained in control. This was a blip but offered a useful insight as employment rates rise and the value of an in-house function stretches further into the SME world.

After a turbulent year it’s just possible the next few months will offer greater opportunity for career stretch – and higher earnings for in-house professionals than for some time.

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