Keep In Touch With Candidates: The Crucial Recruitment Step You Might Be Missing!
If you’ve got this far, made a job offer and they’ve accepted – congratulations! If my advice has helped please let me know by connecting via LinkedIn.
But before we all get carried away I need to give you an important warning. Along with making a mis-hire, the most painful outcome of recruitment is when a candidate accepts your offer but doesn’t start and you have to go back to the drawing board. In a competitive marketplace, this happens frequently.
Can you imagine going from a sense of relief that you’ve ‘finished’ the recruitment process and the job has been ‘filled’; to the panic and disbelief that you’ve got to start again. Most of the applicants who applied and were interviewed have probably accepted a job offer elsewhere. This means you’ve got to spend more money attracting new applicants, more time shortlisting, make more Telephone Interviews, attend more interviews, and still you could be back to square one.
The good news is, if you keep engaged with the candidate before they start, they are much more likely to start.
Candidates Often Don’t Start A New Job
Even at this stage, there are still so many things that can go wrong:
- Their current employer may make another counteroffer that you don’t have an opportunity to manage.
- The candidate may continue to get email job alerts or calls from other employers and recruitment agencies giving them better options.
- The candidate may have to serve a notice period as long as three months, and during this time gets anxious about their decision and feels “buyer’s regret”.
For these reasons, and others, you must maintain contact with the candidate, so that you get an early warning of something going wrong. On the more positive side, this is also a great way of preparing them for starting with you.
Communicate with a Candidate Frequently
At first, there are plenty of reasons to speak to a candidate who’s accepted a job offer with you. You might have to check their right to work, confirm Reference Calls, agree contracts of employment and so on. But as time goes on, there are less of these obvious reasons for contacting them. Here are a few ideas for staying in touch:
- After the candidate has handed in their notice, contact them to find out how it went. Reassure them that this is never easy, but that they did it for the right reasons.
- Invite them to staff parties and celebrations. This demonstrates that you’re a successful organisation with staff who like to have fun together. This will also help develop relationships with new colleagues, who may then take responsibility for maintaining contact.
- Arrange an informal dinner with some of their new colleagues.
- You could ask a senior leader to make an introductory call to welcome the candidate and say how excited they are about them joining.
- You could give them additional information about the company and the role that might help them feel more prepared and comfortable when they start their new position.
- When planning their first few days, consider what’s most important to them so that you ensure that it’s covered.
- Do they have holidays, birthdays or important anniversaries that they would like booked into the annual leave planner?
- If they need a car parking pass, can you have their details in advance to prepare one?
- Do staff wear a uniform? If so, approximately what size would they like to try?
What other reasons can you think of for being in contact with them (apart from “Just checking you’re still joining us?” as this might sow doubt in their mind)?
<div class="grey-callout"><h2>Key Takeaway</h2><p>It’s so important that you maintain contact with a candidate before they start because so much can go wrong. Use it as an opportunity to reinforce what a great company you are to work for, to build the relationship and to prepare the candidate for starting. And if something goes wrong, you’ll get an early warning sign of this.</p></div>