Last week one of my staff wrote a blog titled Saying Yes To The Offer But Still Interviewing?? where she discussed locking down a candidate after they have accepted your offer. Is it enough? Is it too much? I liked this topic so much I wanted to drill down a bit deeper on this one. It deserves the attention. The blog was well written and definitely creates reason to ponder that very question, that is, if a candidate accepts my offer, will they actually show up on their start date?
That would seem to be a question one would not need to ask of professional level candidates and to a degree the question is very annoying. I mean, you went through an entire intense screening and interview process with this person. The very question of them not starting after accepting an offer is ridiculous, right? Unfortunately it is not. While I think it would lack complete professionalism at any level to simply not show up and I don’t think you’d actually see that, the reality is, even if a candidate accepts your offer doesn’t mean they are 100% committed to starting. They may still interview with other companies up until they start. Or even if they are not interviewing and see themselves as committed to you, one phone call from a recruiter or company hiring manager may be just enough to get them intrigued at looking at something prior to their start date with your company.
So don’t fool yourself, it’s never simply a done deal. It is an ongoing process until they show up for work and even after they are on board.
Indeed, it is about timing and if someone is in an active job search there’s a good chance a company they applied for will have an opening become available. Or perhaps their interview process was slower than yours, but now they are ready to start moving things along now.
You must continue the courting process until that person starts with you. Invite them to a company meeting, fill out pre-employment paperwork, have them start anything that can realistically be started before they actually begin employment, bring them in to set up their desk and so on. The Start date/First 30 days mark continues with the colleague lunches, get them involved in a committee, set up client/marketing visits and set a six month review plan. From the moment a person accepts a job offer you want them to feel like they are already part of your company. This build that psychological buy in that is so critical to avoiding them being pulled away by another opportunity.