Finally Onboarding Candidates? Not So Fast

June 26, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

onboarding processBehold – you’ve managed to score the best candidate in the biz and what’s more is they are inches away from the big “He/she said yes!” moment. They’re on the brink of making it all the way through your pipeline. It’s in the bag, right?

Hold on. 

Other factors come into play and mess up your hiring groove, like a candidate’s doubts, ulterior motives, or a competitor who also has a keen eye on the prize. Before risking the chance of losing talent right at the end of the funnel, here are three ways to get them back on your side and onto the team.

The candidate is hesitant about settling on a start date and brings up additional questions about the opportunity. 

The candidate hasn’t received enough information about the position, and while regular communication between the recruiter and potential new hire is good, it makes a bolder statement to have the hiring manager directly connect with the candidate. 

candidate questionsSchedule time for them to talk over the phone or to meet in person to openly discuss any concerns or questions that may have come up between their last meeting and the offer. This communicates to candidates that the company is certain about hiring them and investing time into addressing any issues they may have about taking the next step in their career. Keep track of any patterns you notice in questions asked by candidates post-offer, as they can guide how the team improves future onboarding experiences.

The candidate expresses much interest in employee benefits, compensation, time off, severance packages, and working remotely.

It’s tough to predict how long a potential employee will be with the company, but a candidate who wants more information on points regarding the end of their employment may be showing signs of someone who doesn’t plan on staying very long. Listen in for signals of their planned short-term employment, like mentioning an upcoming vacation, asking about the policy on working from home, or bringing up a significant other who’s making a move out of state. 

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Before outright asking candidates if they plan on pulling the fadeaway from your company in the next six months, make it clear that the company is excited to train them to advance in their role and share details on the plan and timeline the team has laid out to map their development. Use this as a starting point to open the discussion on a candidate’s future career plans, and they may reveal the parts of their future goals that aren’t in line with the company’s. 

onboarding process

The candidate received a counteroffer from another company.

Sounds like we’ve got a poacher! The candidate ultimately has the last say on the company they choose to join, but what you can do to salvage the situation is get as much information on the other offer that the candidate is willing to share. That way, you can draw up counterarguments on how the candidate would benefit more from working with your company. If you’re given details on a higher salary, find out how much the company is willing to push on matching it or compensating in the form of equity or other benefits.

You could also rally up the troops and get the hiring manager to reach out to candidates to discuss any gaps they’re anticipating by joining the company. Somewhere along the path of onboarding, there’s often a miscommunication between what a candidate expects in their hiring experience and the reality of what the company can offer. Be as transparent as possible and keep in mind your responses to the candidate are even more on a deadline.  

Building a positive candidate experience doesn’t stop at the offer, nor at talent’s acceptance of the offer. Continue to foster a candidate’s relationship with the company by keeping communication lines open and concise – meaning, if you’re able to step down from your role as the mediator between a candidate and a hiring manager, do so and allow the two to directly connect with each other to prevent confusion and to stress the team is adamant on meeting their main goal to get the candidate in the door.
employee referral program