Keeping your successful candidate engaged….can be harder than you might think….

Human Resources 25th November 2019

Isn’t it a good feeling? After a thorough recruitment process for your vacancy, you’ve made your choice. The successful candidate has accepted your offer and everyone’s happy. Job done. Or is it?

During the notice period, an awful lot can go wrong. First – there’s the predictable counter-offer. 50% of candidates receive a counter-offer from their current employer. 57% of those will accept. They may also receive a more attractive offer from other potential firms they’ve spoken to.

The gap between acceptance and start date is when you’re most vulnerable to the possibility of losing your ‘perfect candidate’. So – the time to start building that all-important supportive working relationship is … immediately following the acceptance of your offer.

Get the written offer out ASAP
Nothing is more likely to dampen the excitement of a verbal offer than waiting weeks for the written offer to drop on the doormat. Keep that time-frame to an absolute minimum.

Regular contact
Keeping in regular communication from the very start of the relationship is a sure way to create a favourable impression. How the candidate responds will, of course, give you a good idea as to how committed they are to the role and to joining you. Engage them in regular conversation, keeping them in the loop about workplace activities and they’ll feel more involved and appreciated from the very start. It will also help them to be more productive when they finally get started.

Keeping in touch also can keep you aware of any counter-offer or external offers sooner. The candidate will feel more compelled to tell you, enabling you to make any appropriate moves.

Meeting the team
Having made your formal offer of employment, invite the candidate to pay you a visit. Set up a meeting or two with colleagues. This early opportunity to network, to get to know their new workmates, will reduce new-job nerves and work wonders for team-building.

If an important issue crops up during the new employee’s notice period, consider inviting them to come in and attend relevant meetings. If they can’t (which is likely because of current work commitments), send them an email, outlining the issue and how it’s to be resolved. They’re bound to appreciate your willingness to get them involved.

Efficient early on-boarding
Back in June, you may have read our blog on the importance of planned, efficient onboarding. Research shows that a strong on-boarding process enhances new hire retention by as much as 82%. Your onboarding strategy should start as soon as the candidate has verbally accepted your offer. Make sure that they have all they need in the way of relevant and comprehensive information prior to starting their role.

The on-boarding process will be different from one organisation to another. You need to find a process that suits both you and your new hire. Why not ask the candidate for their preferred onboarding method?

A mismatch? Better to find out sooner rather than later
28% of employees, having initially accepted a job, subsequently back out. It isn’t always the disastrous outcome you might believe. It could be that, during the notice period, perhaps as a consequence of something they learn during their onboarding process, the candidate decides that, after all, your firm, or the role they’ve accepted, just isn’t right for them. This is, of course, much better for both parties to learn that they aren’t the perfect match sooner rather than later.

How you treat your candidates during the recruitment process also goes a long way in terms of offer acceptance rates. It’s the whole process that counts. If you’re consistently experiencing low acceptance rates and employee retention, maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Here to help
As HR specialists, we know how candidates think – how their minds work. Just as important – we also understand your needs – the employer. When it comes to all aspects of the recruitment process, we’re here to help.

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