The time between dark and light

I’ve been thinking a lot about candidate experience recently. Its something that I am trying to improve all the time. As we’re all still in a period of time where employers are struggling to attract the perfect individual who may have multiple prospective job options or they are sat in the job with ‘better the devil you know…’ it is becoming increasingly important from a time and cost perspective to make sure that the person you want and offer a job to actually joins. During my 10 years in recruitment I have personally had and come into contact with many people that have had the classic “wobble” or counter-offer during the notice period. As a Manager, recruiter or someone involved in the recruitment process, what can you do to prevent or at least reduce the risk of this happening or worse still encounter them giving back-word? Well the truth of the matter is that if the candidate has already made up their mind and/or didn’t actually really want to take up the new role and was maybe using he interview/offer as a bargaining chip then you have no chance of convincing them to join,so bow out with a little dignity. If however the candidate genuinely wanted a new new job there are some things that you can do that maybe, just maybe might keep them interested and on-track to join.

Process and sticking to you word.

So the candidate has had their interview and you’ve promised feedback on a specific day. The first rule is that you must stick to your word and deliver the feedback and/or offer on or before that day you said you would. If you don’t, you run the risk of placing doubt into their mind. You may not be in a position to offer… so what? Pick up the phone and tell them that you cant offer… yet. At the very least email them. This also applies to offer letters. Don’t just blame the postman send an electronic version of the offer letter.


Obvious but rarely done. Keep talking to the candidate from the minute that they sign their name till the Friday before they join (assuming that they’re joining on the Monday). By talking to them regularly you start the relationship with them from that very moment and who knows you may even get wind of a potential problem early on. Keep asking about what is happening in their current role or if they’re not in work, what have they been up to (have they been going for other interviews?)


Just because they haven’t actually started their job should that be a reason that they aren’t allowed into the building or for you to meet them? Well it shouldn’t be! By bringing them in to meet the team or by going out to lunch or by having a coffee, you again build that relationship from the signature moment. By introducing them to their new workmates they will feel like they’re a part of the team and probably won’t feel as nervous on day one and the team certainly won’t treat them like a stranger.


At the very least if you truly are not able to meet or speak with them, send them things to look at and learn. It might be the company handbook, policies, ‘who’s who’ guide or even company accounts… it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is that you send them will again mean that they feel like they are being thought of.

Reward them

Now this is a little advanced but need not be. Why not send them a list of the benefits or rewards that are on offer to them as an employee including a holiday form. Yes I realise that this may be a little radical, but think of it this way – if you have a great benefits scheme think how they’ll feel if they get to choose their benefits before actually joining. They’ll already be your employee in their head! As for the holiday form, you don’t actually have to approve it till they join but it will remove the fear of them asking for time off when they first join. What about letting them choose a training program or even get them to think about a personal development plan? All these will have the feel of you giving them something.

And finally…

Remember that the time between telling their current boss that they’re leaving may well be a difficult and nerve-wracking time. Just because they may be the strongest character in the world, what they have to go through emotionally may be one of the hardest hings that they may have had to do. Then there is the reaction of the current employer that usually ranges from shock to puppy-dog eyes to persuasion to anger or at its worst blackmail, bullying or isolation… Quite a journey from the dark to the light isn’t it? So what are you planning to do to help them through it? A lot I hope!

About colincrowley2012

Group Recruitment Manager at Kcom, a specialist in in-house recruitment manager within the telecoms and IT market.
This entry was posted in candidate experience, counter-offer, Direct Hire, General Recruitment Thoughts, In House Recruitment, job offer, manager help, recruitment, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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