Lazy recruiters can drive away top talent!

EscapeYou’ve written an exceptional job ad, been thrilled with the talent it’s attracted, sifted and interviewed your top candidates and chosen the No.1 who you know will be a model employee and add real value to your business.  Now, how would you feel if they decline your job offer – or walk away after just a few days in the new role?

Frustrated? Disappointed? Annoyed?

The most important thing to do if this does happen, before you even start your search for someone else to fill the position, is understand why someone would head for the door and make their escape…

According to recent research from Office Angels, many of the candidates who refuse a job offer, or change their mind after initially accepting, do so because of failures in the recruitment process.

With more opportunities opening up in the post-recession market, competition for the best people is at an all time high.  In the last two years, nearly half (48%) of workers received multiple job offers at the same time; at the point of resignation, half (50%) received a counter offer from their existing employer; and a third (34%) changed their mind after accepting a job offer, choosing not to go ahead with the new role.

The research has given some great insights into reasons behind workers’ decisions on whether to accept a new job – and underpins a lot of the advice we gave in our previous post ‘Onboarding a new employee starts at the recruitment desk’.

To help ensure your recruitment process is airtight – here’s our top three tips for hiring managers on improving your recruitment drive, so you don’t drive away your most promising candidates.


More than a third of workers (38%) believe that a lack of information regarding a new role would persuade them to stay with their current employer – so make sure you have plenty of information at hand to pass on to interested parties, beyond the job spec and advert, before you start advertising.  It’s good practice to compile a PDF job pack that can be easily emailed, particularly for more senior roles.  This could include:

Company information: Include your mission statement, company ethos and an overview of your company’s structure showing how the position fits within the organisation.

Job description and person specification: Make sure this is as comprehensive as it can be.  If you are replacing a member of staff who is leaving, benchmark testing of the outgoing employee can prove enormously beneficial to ensure you capture their full role and responsibilities and also discover personality traits that suit the position. If it is a new role, you need to pinpoint exactly what you hope to gain from its introduction.  You might want to include details of how you see the job developing over time or convey how pivotal the role is to the organisation’s success.

Salary and incentives package: Even if you consider the salary to be negotiable, stating this is not enough.  Offer a guideline figure and include details of any benefits and bonuses that will be available within the role.  If you anticipate employing someone on a lower salary for a probationary period with a view to increasing the wage at a later date, make this clear in the information you send.

It’s important to have an understanding of key motivators for top-notch candidates and shape the information pack with that in mind.  Our previous blog post, ‘It is possible to catch a big fish for your small pond’, can help with that.

123bullets-2Clearly defined recruitment process

Nearly half of people surveyed (41%) stated the most important part of being successfully recruited was a clearly defined recruitment process, and  31% said they would be put off by a long complicated interview process.

It’s amazing how many companies start a recruitment drive without first structuring the process.  The most important thing to have in mind is timescale. This goes far beyond setting a deadline for receipt of applications.

Make sure there is space in your diary after this date to read through CVs and produce a shortlist for interview.  It’s good practice to respond to applicants, both positive and negative, within one week of the application deadline.

You also need to set aside a couple of alternative dates for interview – and make sure that everyone who needs to be on the interview panel is available.  Having some flexibility is essential as there may be instances where a favourite candidate can’t make your first choice of date due to existing work commitments, pre-booked holidays etc.

Put some thought too into whether you intend to run psychometric profiling tests or work-related skills and aptitude assessments as part of the interview process or whether you’re asking candidates to put together a presentation or similar.  They will need to be aware of this, and you need to set aside the appropriate space and time for this to happen.

Also consider when, during the interview process, candidates will be introduced to other key members of staff – including the boss! A total of 29% of surveyed candidates said they would like to meet their future boss before accepting a role.

Always keep in mind, however, the candidate’s perspective.  Try to keep the process as streamlined and painless as possible.

123bullets-3Speedy response

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that candidates like a speedy response following an interview, but the actual figure that use this as a deciding factor when choosing between opportunities at competing companies might.  A staggering 96% view the speed of a job offer as a decisive factor and 45% expect to receive feedback and/or a job offer within the first 2 days of attending an interview.

In fact, over half (52%) of hiring managers admitted that prospective employees would have been more likely to accept a job offer had they acted faster between the interview and job offer stages – so we’re not really telling you something you don’t know here.

Treat this as a reminder and make your deliberations following interview, and response to candidates, as quick as possible.  Constructive feedback for those who were unsuccessful is important too.

If all of this has left you in a spin, wondering how you can improve your next recruitment drive – make it easy on yourself.  Our expert team can help you every step of the way.


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