Securing your candidate once the job offer is made

10 February, 2020

If you’ve recently hired a new team member and they’ve yet to start don’t underestimate the value of maintaining regular contact with them throughout their notice period. And, bear in mind from the minute you make that offer the induction into your business has begun.

After the initial excitement of receiving the offer what goes on during that period may surprise you, and the longer the notice period the greater the risk that someone may come along and make a counteroffer to your much sought after candidate, and this counteroffer may come from their current employer!

However, no matter how long the notice period you should assume that if a candidate is actively engaged in searching for a new role, they are probably considering other roles.  In a candidate starved market, especially if they have hard to source skills and experience, they will be in high demand so they may receive more than one offer.  To strengthen their commitment to you here are a few pointers that will influence their decision to start on the agreed date and terms:

  • If you’ve made a verbal offer send a written offer immediately. The longer the delay the more anxious your candidate will be about your intentions, and therefore the more open to other job opportunities
  • Ensure the details regarding terms and remuneration are the same as described in the interview or subsequent conversations. Ambiguity will only lessen their commitment
  • If you agree dates for sending critical information i.e. contract, offer details, etc. stick to them rigidly. Candidates do look out for the paperwork and if not receive they can begin to question the seriousness of the offer and your business.
  • If the business is having a social event it’s good to invite your soon to be new starter to join in. I know from experience how much this positively influences a candidate, and this can only give them confidence about their personal decision to accept an offer.  Alternatively invite them to a team lunch or meal.  It’s a great ice breaker and provides them with access to future colleagues who can also do much to secure a commitment to joining the team
  • Ensure that the induction programme is fit for purpose and that is relevant to the new starters needs. Sending the itinerary before the start date will let your candidate know you are committed to them and that there is a plan in place to help them settle in properly
  • Contact your new starter the week before they are due to start to ensure that they have everything needed before they begin, and if there are any queries/concerns address them immediately.
  • If your new starter had booked time off before they accepted the offer, make sure that their line manager is made aware of the dates and that it is honoured – We’ve lost a candidate simply because this had not been passed on to the training manager who advised, in the induction course, that this would not be honoured as there was a minimum period of employment before holidays could be booked!
  • To enable new starters to get a head of the game, especially if starting in a new sector, many more companies are sending out pre-employment information packs with online links about the business/sector to their candidates. Best not to make it too onerous, but it’s a great idea to make the early days a little easier as they can research in advance at their leisure
  • Make sure that you’ve advised all the relevant departments about your new starter so that logins, introductions, etc are ready from day 1. Leaving a new starter unattended and unloved in the early days can have a detrimental effect on how he/she views the business and that offer they turned down in favour of yours may begin to feel much more appealing!

Employers invest so much time in searching for and selecting essential talent and whether it is through direct or indirect recruitment channels they may end up losing time and money through a ‘no show candidate’ simply because of neglecting this aspect of the recruitment process.  We hope these tips will limit this incidence and if you’d like more information on how to retain those important people follow our series on suggested ideas on how to identify and thereafter retain your workforce.