Friday, 29 July 2011

How to avoid having your job offer turned down

In today's climate, when you have managed to get sign-off to recruit for a post, you want to make sure that you are successful in finding the right person for the job.

Nothing is more frustrating than sifting a high number of applications, interviewing people, finding a strong applicant who would be a great fit into your team, only to have your job offer to them turned down.

Why does this happen?

It is tempting to think that it is all down to the person's current employer, making them a counter-offer they can't refuse.  However, it is rarely that simple.

If someone is on the job market, applying for jobs and going to interviews, they usually have very good reasons to be seeking a new role:
  • lack of opportunity for career development
  • stagnant salary
  • poor location / commute
  • clash of personalities in their team
  • poor management
The fact they have applied for your role, met you for an interview and probably returned for a second round shows that they felt your organisation and the job on offer were interesting and could solve one or more of these issues.

So what makes people change their mind 'at the last minute' and turn down a job offer?

Fortunately, it is often factors that are within your control, and so you can reduce the chances of this disappointing and frustrating situation happening to you.

It is important to remember that applicants going through a recruitment process are judging the organisation, the role and the people they meet along the way, in just the same way that you are judging their fitness for the role and the team.

You need to make sure that as much attention is paid to the attractive elements of what you are offering as to the attributes of the candidates.

This is called 'employer branding' by HR, and there are some simple tips to make sure you portray a positive employer brand to your prospective new employee:
  1. Promote the culture and benefits of working for your organisation
  2. Describe the positive aspects of the team you have in place,
  3. Talk about the scope of the role as it stands and the opportunities to develop it further
  4. Talk about the challenging aspects of the role in a positive way, as opportunities to develop
  5. Explain the training and CPD programme at your organisation
  6. Make sure all the people they meet are friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic about their jobs and the organisation
You also need to make sure that other members of your team who are meeting the candidates are aware of these issue and are prepared to answer questions like "why do you enjoy working here" or "why made you decide to stay here so long" in a positive and enthusiastic way.

If you follow these steps then the candidate you offer the job to will be feeling positive and keen to join your team; they are therefore much less likely to be tempted by a counter-offer from their old employer.

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