Job offered, candidate accepted…they’ll start, right?

All seasoned recruiters have experienced the pain of negotiating and closing a deal, only to have the candidate not start. At the executive level, it is not terribly common and there are ways to mitigate this from happening. It’s important for employers to appreciate that this scenario hurts recruiters as much as it does the hiring company.

Just because the candidate has signed all of the paperwork and “accepted” doesn’t guarantee that they will start. Remember, this is one transaction where your product has a mind and can decide to change their mind. I dare anyone who has sold anything to compare their product with a walking, talking, intelligent person.

We encourage our clients to be actively involved and keep a steady pace of communication between acceptance and start date. Candidates want to feel desired and know that their arrival is anticipated. Counter-offers should be discussed with candidates as they get deep in the process BEFORE any offer is made.

Can executive search professionals prevent “non-starts” from happening altogether? Never. Can we mitigate them and arm our clients and candidates information and data to make a compelling statement to complete the transaction? Absolutely. But it’s important for employers to create a partnership with the search firms they work with to work together to make sure an offer turns into a start. Professional recruiters who are successful in this industry will never coerce or talk candidates into doing something they ultimately do not want to do. At the end of the day, we are match makers that find desired talent that will have a positive impact to our clients. Even Cupid’s stats aren’t 100%. As the economy continues to improve and talent becomes harder to find, it’s sometimes even harder to retain. The employers who understand this will be the most successful in performing successful searches.

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