There are 10 things my clients should be doing to lessen the likelihood that an offer will either not be accepted.
1. Define your recruitment process and cut the timeline in half. If it takes 8 weeks to recruit a GM – cut that to 4. Figure out what parts of your process are an impediment to a yes-yes negotiation and eliminate them. All stake holders in the recruitment decision must make it a priority and the entire recruitment process should be outlined and shared with any candidate who moves past interview one. Create a clear expected start date and make sure candidates are aware of this expectation.
2. As a candidate navigates your now streamlined process, do not hold any package cards close to your vest. Salary, bonus structure, PTO, benefit packages, relocation assistance numbers and LTIP programs all must be transparently discussed prior to the offer – and frankly prior to the final interview. There should be no surprises when the offer is made.
3. Make the offer Friday afternoon – it is good to Monday morning. If someone has been in a clearly defined process for one month – they do need any more time than 72 hours to make their decision. Making it outside of traditional business hours limits the opportunity for their head to get turned.
4. Eliminate unnecessary referencing. Let us be honest – the most overrated part of any recruitment process is completing the references THE CANDIDATE PROVIDED YOU. But if you do have to do them – do them Friday morning – schedule them – complete them – make the offer. You could be speaking to someone who has just had a vacancy come up within their organization – you just created competition unnecessarily.
5. Create artificial gravitas. You have made the offer on Friday. Have a senior corporate leader who maybe was not involved in the process send a quick two sentence email to the candidate over the weekend “we have not met, but I am aware of your candidacy and feel you could be a great addition to the team.” It matters.
6. Do not decline anyone. This tight recruitment timeline and short consideration period will allow you to quickly pivot should you not get the desired outcome.
7. Do not stop recruiting.
8. Be firm with deadlines. If someone asks for more time – I am telling you without equivocation the answer will be no. Buying time = keeping options open.
9. Limit the space between acceptance and start time. Professional notice periods are not 5-7 weeks – you defined in step 1 what your expected start time is – hold them to it.
10. Treat recruitment like sales. Your recruitment partners are not in HR – they are in sales and what they are selling is the link between talent and opportunity. Hire better people – and they will hire better people.
"To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often." - Winston Churchill
Brent Billing is a Senior Director of Client Services at Lecours Group. He has been with Lecours for 22 years.