Continuing recruitment beyond a candidate’s acceptance

Denise Martinez Corporate Recruiting, Tips & Tricks

Recruiters may feel their work is done as soon as a candidate accepts a job offer. However, this isn’t always the case. Anything can happen between an acceptance and a start date. Here are warning signs to watch for and steps to take to avoid losing top talent:

Entrepreneur Mark Suster understands the difficulties facing recruiters, especially when it comes to start up businesses. According to Suster, unless a candidate has updated his or her LinkedIn profile, physically begun working and announced their new position to family and friends, he or she hasn’t really accepted an offer. In fact, even a verbal or written commitment to a position doesn’t mean the candidate is guaranteed to actually take up the request.

Chances are, the perfect candidates are also highly valued team members at their current workplaces and desirable talent at any other businesses to which they’ve applied. It’s possible they will use one offer to increase or improve another. After all, just because a company views a candidate as the best person for a job, he or she may not see the company as the best employer for their career trajectory.

Focus on emotion
The key to landing the dream candidate is creating an emotional bond during the hiring process. Recruit Loop stated that sending an offer through email is impersonal and can damage warm rapport that was built up during the hiring process. It’s best to make an offer in person, or at the very least, over the phone. This demonstrates more confidence in candidates, shows them there is a strong desire to have them join the team and presents an opportunity to invite them out for celebratory drinks or dinner.

It’s imperative at this stage the person reaching out to make the offer is a familiar face and name. Candidates will find it odd and off-putting if someone they’ve never met before informs them they’ve been accepted.

Depending on the position and its impact on the company, it may be worth issuing a press release just after the candidate accepts an offer. Of course, this move should be reserved for upper management and executive roles, though even junior positions may warrant public announcements through LinkedIn or company newsletters. Inviting the new hire out with future co-workers or making a public announcement dramatically decreases the likelihood that a candidate will rescind his or her acceptance.

Recruiters and employers shouldn’t be afraid of discussing the possibility of counteroffers with candidates. This is another way to gauge how successful an offer will be. By embracing the notion that qualified candidates are truly the top talent in their fields, asking them what they would do should their current employer ask them to stay on for a salary increase is a valid, and strategic, move.

Recruiting software can help facilitate strong communication between candidates and their prospective employers. It can mean the difference between “Yes, I accept,” and “Yes, how soon can I start?”

Jobscience | Beyond the Applicant Tracking System

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