How to Avoid Last Minute Offer Back-Outs
Only a Recruiter can share how heartbreaking it is to see a candidate, who seems enthusiastic being offered a position only to hear back that he/she has declined, or to not hear back from them at all. You skip a heartbeat when they skip your first call or do not revert to your messages and emails, and the stress only increases with every passing day. It is close to impossible to eliminate last-minute offer back-outs but the chances of such instances can surely be reduced.
To solve a problem, it is important to understand the reasons behind it first. There could be several forces behind a candidate deciding to back-out from an offer, the most common ones being:
1. The current company has convinced them to stay by making a better counter offer 2. They have received a better offer from another company 3. They have got intimidated and are reluctant to change 4. They reconsidered the job position/ job role and changed their mind 5. They changed their mind due to some personal reasons
There are certain things the recruiter can do before the candidate back-outs let’s discuss these before we go on to discussing things that the recruiter can do to win back the candidate and convince them to accept the offer.
1. Find the actual reason for looking out and motivate him/her: Have a conversation with the candidate at nascent stages to understand why they are willing to switch the job. Not only will this help you draft a better offer for him/her but also use this to convince him in case he/she is not moving forward with the offer.
2. Talk to the candidate about the possibility of receiving a Counter Offer and their likelihood of accepting it: It is better to be prepared for a situation before it actually happens. This could also help you strategize better in advance before the actual event occurs.
3. Keep the Hiring Process moving: After receiving the candidate’s CV, keep the Turn Around Time minimum and conduct the screening process as quickly as possible to keep the candidate engaged. Always provide feedback to the candidate as soon as possible. But remember, speed should not be misunderstood as a rush.
4. Don’t make extremely low offers: A company always starts lower than what it will actually pay and what the candidate asks, but offering an extremely low salary will put off the candidate and they may get offended by it.
5. Find out what the current company usually does when an employee resigns: Do your research and try to find out what usually happens in their company to be better prepared to help the candidate resist their temptation to give in to the counter offer.
6. Stay in touch with the candidate before, after, and during the Resignation process: Sound supportive and motivating, display that you care about their future and career, and reassure that they are making the right decision.
7. Stay in Touch: Stay in touch with the candidate at all stages, right from sourcing to submitting, to accepting the offer to joining the organization. The candidate must feel a personal touch and not like he/ she is just another one out of a pool of candidates. Wish them festivals and birthdays and have a conversation with them every now and then.
All of the above suggestions should help you minimize the risks of last-minute back-outs. In case the back-out has already happened and you can gauge the reason for the same, these are some things that you can do to try and win back the candidate:
1. If the current company has offered a Counter Offer: Remember you asked them the reason for the job switch? This is where you use it. Have a conversation with the candidate and try to make him understand why and how the offer and the organization are better than his current company and the counter-offer.
2. If the candidate receives a better offer from another company: In case you believe the candidate has made a wrong decision and accepted an offer that is not as good, talk to them and explain. If there is little to no scope of negotiation, find another candidate as there are slim chances of convincing this one.
3. The candidate is reluctant to change: Change brings its own share of uncertainties and fear. As a consultant, it is your responsibility to reassure the candidate that they are making the right decision and reiterate the benefits of the new job that they have been offered.
4. The candidate reconsidered the Job Position/ Responsibility: This is likely to happen if the candidate applies for a job/ position that he/she is not too eager to work on. The candidate is extremely likely to reconsider the job role as the joining date comes closer. To avoid reaching a point like this, the candidate’s eagerness and willingness to work on a role should also be assessed in interviews and not just suitability.
5. Personal Issues prevent them from joining: There are chances that the candidate is actually facing some genuine issues and hence cannot join on a proposed date, but it is also common that a few candidates use “Personal Issues” as an excuse to extend the Date of Joining or to back-out from the offer. Although in such cases there is not much the recruiter can do than to extend support and try to extend the joining date if the candidate is willing to join at a later date or to respect their personal space.
It is difficult to see things slip from your hands but remember there is only a part of the problem in your control. There is another individual involved making a crucial decision about their career and choosing what they believe is right for them. Be cautious at all stages to minimize such occurrences and learn from these incidents but remember that these instances do not define you and your skills, take things with a pinch of salt and keep things going.