After weeks of looking for a new hire, you finally identify a great candidate. You make them an offer and they accept it! Great! Then when it comes time for them to start, you get a note saying they are not going to join. This is a familiar story for many managers. They will then usually blame the candidate and their unprofessionalism, but the truth is, a lot of the time, it’s the fault of the manager or the recruiting team. Why? Because very few hiring managers, HR professionals and businesses in general focus on candidate engagement and experience once an offer has been accepted. It is quite common that a new hire does not hear from an organisation once accepting an offer, and a lot can change while someone is serving their notice period. The organisations and teams that do not have this problem, focus on keeping a candidate engaged during their notice period.

Keep in touch

Research shows that 66% of candidates want to hear more regularly from the company they are joining. It is never too early to start building a positive relationship with your new hire. After all, if they are a great candidate, they likely have other companies that would also like to hire them, so its important that they feel positive about joining the team. Any lingering doubts could be amplified if another company makes a last-ditch attempt to win them over. Regular contact keeps a candidate engaged, and less likely to drop out before they start. After all, lets assume a candidate did 3 interviews with your team. If they have a 3-month notice period, how engaged are they going to be two months later based on 3 one-hour interactions a couple of months ago?

How did the resignation go?

If you are hiring someone who is great, its likely their existing employer thinks this as well. So, it is vital to keep in contact with them as they go through the resignation process with their current firm. A good employee is almost always counter offered. So, if their current firm is going to match the pay and opportunity you are offering, they are going to have second thoughts. Unless of course they absolutely hate their manager. It is important to stay close to them to ensure they feel that moving to your organisation is the right thing to do, and better for them over the long term. Likewise, you may need to increase your offer, but you would not know this unless you are in regular contact with the candidate.

Integrate them into the team

It is also a great idea to introduce the candidate to the team, while they are serving their notice period. You should arrange for some sort of get together, so that the candidate feels like they are part of the team even before they begin. By connecting with the team for some drinks after work, or for a team lunch, they already begin to establish relationships and rapport with their new colleagues. This will increase their level of comfort and reinforce that joining the team is the right decision and help ensure any last-minute counter offers or offers from other organisations is turned down.

Keep them up to date

Finally, the hiring manager should ensure that they are in regular contact with the new hire and keeping them up to date with the work to be done when they join. By walking the hire through challenges to be overcome, projects the team are currently working on, key objectives to help the team succeed, the employee will already feel like they are part of the team. They should also share any company news or announcements and explain what this means.  

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