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It ain't over until the fat lady sings - work remaining even after a candidate signs their offer letter

Abhinav Agrawal

It ain't over until the fat lady sings - you have probably heard this phrase dozens of times in reference to sporting events but it applies to recruiting also!

If you have a junior or inexperienced recruiting team, they might believe that once a candidate signs the offer letter, their job is done and they can kick back, relax, and light their cigar. Nothing could be further from the truth!

What remains? There are 3 key things that your recruiting and talent team still need to do!

Navigate the dreaded counteroffer

The process of attracting and hiring top talent can be time-consuming and costly. That's why it can be frustrating when a candidate who has accepted an offer from your company decides to take a counteroffer from their current employer instead. Our blog post on counteroffers talks about this situation from a candidate perspective. From a recruiting team perspective, here are a few tips to prevent candidates from accepting counteroffers:

  1. Explicitly discuss the logistics of resigning - explicitly discuss the logistics of how the candidate will resign. When will they do it? Who will they resign to? How much time will they give for transition? Talk about the potential of a counteroffer openly and prepare them on how to handle it. Ideally have them impress upon their current employer that the decision to join your company is final and not open to negotiation.
  2. Emphasize the potential drawbacks of accepting a counteroffer: Candidates may not be fully aware of the potential drawbacks of accepting a counteroffer, such as the potential for future lay-offs or a strained relationship with their current employer. Make sure that candidates are aware of these potential risks. You can even send the blog post on counteroffers to them.
  3. Address the candidate's concerns early on: One of the main reasons candidates accept counteroffers is because they have concerns about their new role or company. By addressing these concerns early on in the hiring process, you can help reduce the chances of the candidate being tempted by a counteroffer.
  4. Communicate the benefits of your company: Make sure that candidates understand the benefits of working for your company, including opportunities for growth, a positive work culture, and any unique perks or benefits. Make the hiring manager and other senior leaders available to chat.
  5. Make the offer as attractive as possible: Finally, make sure that the offer you present to the candidate is as attractive as possible. This might include a competitive salary, benefits, and any other perks or incentives. Keep in communication with the candidate - if their counteroffer is higher than your offer, be prepared to negotiate!

By following these tips, you can help reduce the chances of a candidate accepting a counteroffer. Now on to making sure they start on time!

Ensure the candidate starts

Even if the candidate doesn't take a counteroffer, you have to ensure they actually show up (or more likely join the zoom call for remote workers) on their start date.

In our experience at Rocket, 2-5% of candidates just don't start when they are supposed to.

Here a few tips on making sure that doesn't happen to you:

  1. Clearly communicate the start date and any necessary details: Make sure that the start date and any necessary details (such as start time, location, and what to bring) are clearly communicated to the candidate well in advance. This can help reduce the chances of any confusion or misunderstandings. The day before the start date, send a reminder to the candidate about the start time and location. This can help ensure that they don't forget or mix up the details.
  2. Follow up with the candidate a few days before the start date: A few days before the start date, reach out to the candidate to confirm that they are still planning to start as scheduled. This can help identify any potential issues early on and give you time to address them. If there is a long time between offer acceptance date and start date, then plan to check in every few weeks.
  3. Have a contingency plan in place: It's always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place in case a candidate doesn't show up on their start date. This might include identifying a backup candidate or finding a temporary solution to cover the role until the issue can be resolved. Staffing companies like Rocket can provide replacement candidates at very short notice if needed.

You can certainly breathe a sigh of relief once the candidate starts! But there is still some work left...

Help the candidate thrive

The last thing the talent team needs to do is to ensure that candidates are successful in their roles.

This is absolutely crucial - just hiring a person isn't enough - the actual goal is to make sure they onboard and thrive & contribute to the company.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Clearly communicate expectations: Before a candidate even starts the job, make sure that they understand what is expected of them in terms of their responsibilities and performance. This can help set the stage for success and avoid any misunderstandings down the line. This might involve a conversation with the hiring manager before they start and even sending across some reading material to help them be successful.
  2. Provide a thorough onboarding process: A thorough onboarding process can help new hires feel welcomed and supported as they transition into their new role. Consider providing an orientation to the company, introductions to key team members, and any necessary training to help new hires get up to speed quickly. If the hiring manager doesn't have one already, push them to make a "new hire" plan.
  3. Offer ongoing support: It's not uncommon for new hires to have questions or need support as they get settled into their new roles. Make sure that new hires have access to the resources and support they need to succeed. This might include a mentor, access to training, or regular check-ins with their manager. This might also include monthly check-ins with you or your team!
  4. Set clear goals and provide feedback: Help new hires understand what is expected of them by working with the hiring managers to set clear goals and providing regular feedback on their progress. This can help them stay on track and make sure they are meeting the expectations of the organization. If the new hire doesn't have that clarity, encourage them to get clarity by having a direct conversation with their manager.

Once the candidate has settled into a nice rhythm - you can go ahead and light up that cigar! Hopefully, this blog post has illustrated all the work that still remains to be done after the candidate has signed their offer letter for the recruiting team to be a strategic partner in the company's success.

About Rocket

Rocket pairs talented recruiters with advanced AI to help companies hit their hiring goals. Rocket is headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley but has recruiters all over the US & Canada serving the needs of our growing client base across engineering, product management, data science and more.

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