How to Keep Candidates Engaged Between Acceptance And Start Date

Feb 24, 2020

So the perfect candidate signed and accepted your job offer, congratulations! But don’t celebrate for too long, there is still work to do because nothing is certain after a candidate accepts an offer. Your new employee can still change their mind or simply not show up. 66% of managers say they’ve had a new hire accept a job offer, only to back out before the start date.

What actions do companies need to take to keep hold of their newly hired employees to prevent them from ghosting... or worse, accepting an offer from another company, or accepting a counter-offer from their current employer? Did you know? 50% of candidates will receive a counter-offer from their current employer, and 57% of those will accept that offer.

So, before you send them their onboarding documents and order that new laptop, we need to make sure we have a plan. We’ve seen too many times where companies work so hard to get their top candidate only to lose them once they accepted - through no one’s fault. It’s crucial to keep the hiring process going and nurture the relationship with candidates, even after they’ve accepted. We’ve compiled a few of our best practices we preach to our clients to help them limit the risk of losing their top-performing candidates after acceptance. Maybe a few of these will help you?

Tip 1: Stay in touch until Day 1 

Regular communication with candidates keeps them engaged and allows you to build a relationship with your new employee. It’s as simple as sending them weekly updates on what’s happening in the workplace and industry news/insight. Keeping candidates in the loop will help them feel valued and involved.

It’s also smart to have senior-level staff reach out to congratulate them. Ongoing communication will make your new employees feel appreciated and even more excited to join their new workplace. You don’t want to make them feel left in the dark. If you aren’t proactive in forming a relationship between the offer and start date, you may risk them re-evaluating their options or de-motivate them from arriving on Day 1.

Tip 2: Take them out for coffee or lunch

The excitement about a new position is real when you’re making that change. It’s a chance for your new employee to get prepared for a new endeavor, a possible promotion, or just a new challenge. With that comes expectations and possible stress.  Inviting them out to lunch post-offer to touch base about their expectations or even their goals for their first 90 days will help demystify some of their assumptions or conclusions by having a casual get together to just discuss how your company works and how they can succeed. 

Tip 3: Send a post-acceptance welcome package

Between the three to six week period of the offer and start date, the candidate will hand in their two-week notice. This can be a tricky and overwhelming time for the candidate. Their current employers may offer them a competitive counter-offer. It can be very enticing to be offered more money in a role they’re already comfortable with. This is why it’s important to send a post-acceptance package that promotes a strong brand.

Showcasing your brand and providing them with value-added information is extremely important. The post-acceptance package could include:

  • A video highlighting company culture
  • Employee testimonials about the benefits of working at your company
  • An introductory video message from leaders
  • Other on-boarding/resourceful information 

Presenting a strong and appealing brand will remind candidates why they accepted the offer in the first place and guide them to steer clear of accepting any counter-offers.

If you welcome them, they will start!

It’s a tricky time if you don’t stay engaged with candidates post-offer, competition for talent is fierce. There is no doubt that competitors will step in and steal your candidates if you’re not pushing regular communication or open dialogue. Keep the above tips in mind after you’ve offered a job to a candidate and it will keep you from losing out on your best positional employees.