After all the cover letters, resumes and job interviews, you finally find the perfect hire. Except… they’re a no show. Here’s how to deal with it without losing your cool.
New hires renege on job offers more frequently than anyone wants to admit.
When does the recruitment process end? When the new hire signs the job offer, their first day or first week of work? There’s no general consensus.
A candidate could accept a job offer, only to use it to get a raise from his current employer. Or he might change his mind and take a position elsewhere. Some people quit after a few weeks of starting because the job wasn’t what they hoped it would be.
How can you save your commission? What can you do to fill the gap in the workforce ASAP? First, recognize one truth: Applicants care about themselves, not the position you need to fill.
They have no emotional ties with you or the company. If a better opportunity comes along, they’ll take it. Realizing this will change your perspective for the better and prevent headaches later on.
How to deal with reneged job offers without losing your cool
Nostrils flaring, nerves popping, you call the applicant and berate them for not showing up.
A miscommunication might cause a new hire to think his start date isn’t until next week. Just call and ask what happened, then sort it out from there.
If they don’t respond to any of your attempts to communicate, it’s safe to say the candidate’s a no-show.
Manage the client’s (employer) expectations
This is everyone’s worst nightmare: They’re expecting someone to show up, then an hour passes and nada.
Whether you’re part of the company’s HR or a third-party recruiter, you need to keep the candidate’s would-be boss in the loop.
Be honest and tell them exactly what happened. Negotiate to restart the hiring process, contact existing candidates or hire internally. If you must, offer to help the company hire a temp while you work on finding a replacement.
Consider the legal complexities of signing bonuses and non-competes
Many states, such as Florida, for example, are employment-at-will states—meaning your employer can terminate your employment with or without cause at any time. An employment agreement, however, may change those terms. — Lindsey Wagner of Cathleen Scott & Associates.
It sounds harsh, but some recruiters exercise this option for tricky jobs to fill. Sometimes the candidate ends up doing poorly or hating the job, other times the candidate loves it and everybody’s happy.
If all else fails, restart the hiring process
Don’t burn bridges, even with a candidate who wasted your time. (Click here to tweet this advice.) Applicants know other candidates with similar skills and work experience so tapping their network will save you time from sourcing new candidates.
While you’re doing that, reach out to the other candidates in the pipeline for said position.
Prevention is better than cure, right? Here’s how to prevent this from happening in the first place.
1. Don’t rush it
Say you impose a three-day deadline to accept the offer. What do you think the candidate will do?
They’ll accept the offer then back out later if they find a better option, says Glen Loveland, HR Manager at China Central Television.
2. Run the numbers
Review the initial offer with them over the phone. You don’t have to review the whole contract point by point, just give an overview of the compensation package.
Giving an overview of the initial job offer via phone also helps you gauge the candidate’s enthusiasm — something you can’t do through email. If the candidate doesn’t sound excited, ask if he’s having second thoughts or if there’s anything he wants to negotiate further.
3. Determine how bad it is
Many candidates don’t take their resignations seriously until they start working at their new job. To test their resolve, ask what they’ll do if their employer offers them a 15 percent raise to stay.
Hesitating means the candidate’s allegiance could be bought. Whatever reasons they have for resigning — a bad boss, lack of advancement opportunities, no work/life balance — may not be enough.
Ask this question at every stage of the hiring process. You never know, something might change their mind in between interviews.
4. Ask about the candidate’s “suitors”
Ask candidates how many companies they’ve applied to, and if they’re reviewing other job offers. This will help you assess where you are in the candidate’s point of view, whether you’re the first choice or just a back-up.
Knowledge of the other company’s usual compensation package, advancement opportunities and work environment can help you outline the pros and cons of what you offer versus the competition.
Share your recruiting nightmares. Have you ever had a candidate back-out at the last minute? Did you ever get a feeling it would happen?
Charley Mendoza is a freelance blogger and copywriter. She helps businesses and HR professionals write research-backed and actionable content for their audience.