Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are Accepted Job Offers Done Deals?

Last week one of my staff wrote a blog where she discussed locking down a candidate after they have accepted your offer. Is it enough? Is it too much? I liked this topic so much I wanted to drill down a bit deeper on this one. It deserves the attention. The blog was well written and definitely creates reason to ponder that very question, that is, if a candidate accepts my offer, will they actually show up on their start date?

That would seem to be a question one would not need to ask of professional level candidates and to a degree the question is very annoying. I mean, you went through an entire intense screening and interview process with this person. The very question of them not starting after accepting an offer is ridiculous, right? Unfortunately it is not. While I think it would lack complete professionalism at any level to simply not show up and I don’t think you’d actually see that, the reality is, even if a candidate accepts your offer doesn’t mean they are 100% committed to starting. They may still interview with other companies up until they start. Or even if they are not interviewing and see themselves as committed to you, one phone call from a recruiter or company hiring manager may be just enough to get them intrigued at looking at something prior to their start date with your company.

So don’t fool yourself, it’s never simply a done deal. It is an ongoing process until they show up for work and even after they are on board.

Indeed, it is about timing and if someone is in an active job search there’s a good chance a company they applied for will have an opening become available. Or perhaps their interview process was slower than yours, but now they are ready to start moving things along now.

You must continue the courting process until that person starts with you. Invite them to a company meeting, fill out pre-employment paperwork, have them start anything that can realistically be started before they actually begin employment, bring them in to set up their desk and so on.  The Start date/First 30 days mark continues with the colleague lunches, get them involved in a committee, set up client/marketing visits and set a six month review plan.   From the moment a person accepts a job offer you want them to feel like they are already part of your company. This builds that psychological buy in that is so critical to avoiding them being pulled away by another opportunity.

Scot Dickerson, CPC

Spouse/Significant Other in the Relocation Process

I vacationed in Washington DC with my family this last week. Great trip. So much to see and do. We really enjoyed ourselves. As we were walking down 14th Street toward the Washington Monument my wife said, “I couldn’t live here.”  She went on to say, “It’s a great city with so much to see and do. Such amazing architecture. But for me, too many people. Everything seems so crowded. I just wouldn’t be comfortable.”

This got me thinking, geographical preference is such an individual thing. A lot to do with a person’s frame of reference. Being born and raised in Iowa and vacationing mostly in places such as beaches in Florida, her point of reference is so much different than someone else who was born and raised in an area such as Chicago, NYC, DC and so on.

Naturally there are always going to be exceptions as certainly there are people who were raised in Iowa that would much prefer a Chicago.

But the fact is, certain people are just more comfortable in a certain surrounding. To take such a person and place them in an area they are not comfortable is a recipe for a failed relocation.

This leads me to my point, employers must take into consideration a candidate’s spouse in the relocation and interview process. But what's appropriate? What are some companies doing?

Over the years I’ve seen companies have the spouse or significant other travel along with the candidate to the on-site interview. As these companies realized that if this was going to work, the significant other must be on board as well.

I’ve seen companies extend an offer to a candidate and part of the offer process, invite the candidate and spouse/significant other to come out to look the area over.

I’ve seen candidates even ask the company if it was okay if they brought their spouse/significant other at their own expense. Sometimes the companies will step-up and offer to pay for the spouse/significant other travel expenses. That can go a long way to creating a very favorable view of a potential employer.

The employer simply cannot overlook the importance of the spouse/significant other to securing the candidate they wish to bring on board. No matter how much you want a candidate to come on board, if their spouse/significant other is not on board with the geographic location, it will certainly fall apart at some point. I believe it makes the best sense to determine this prior to an offer being accepted.

Scot Dickerson, CPC