I was talking with a manager who had an accepted offer from a candidate late last week. The conversation went like this:
Me – How’s your guy doing? Have you called him since he accepted the offer? (1 week ago at the time of this conversation)
Manager – No.
Me – Why not? Don’t you think he’d like to hear from you before he shows up to work?
Manager – Why?
Me – Well, he’s still employed even though he told you he’s given a notice. If they like him as an employee, they might try to show him some love between now and his final day in order to keep him?
Manager – Every time I have accepted a job, the company always just told me what day to show up and I did. They didn’t make any calls to me before I reported.
Me – I understand what you are saying. The problem is that we’ve had at least 3-4 instances this year where the company the candidate was at ultimately made a big run at the employee before their last day. Lost 2 out of 3 of those candidates as a result. That suggests you need to proactive. Especially with our metro at 3% unemployment.
Manager – I guess I can, what am I supposed to say?
Hello, Captain Caveman. It’s like I’m teaching someone to date. How many days until you call someone after getting a number? I’ve been married for a long time, so I’ve got no clue in the dating world. It matters in the recruiting world.
I’m noticing a substantial up-tick in signed candidates opting to stay with their employer after a counter-offer, or who are at least very open to telling us they are going through a counter-offer process. Counter-offers have been around since the begining of time, but the recent change I’ve witnessed suggests that counter-offers are occurring at much deeper levels in an organization, including support reps and entry-level developers.
Why the change? My company is in the software business, so I assume the loss of knowledge, for some of the companies we pull candidates from, makes a counter at any level more probable. I also think that low employment rates contribute to an up-tick in counter-offers.
The one thing that’s money in the bank to squash the counter-offer? An engaged and interested hiring manager that the candidate will be working for at the new company. Something as simple as a phone check-in can keep the warmth going and prevent the candidate from accepting a counter that’s not in their best interest. This type of post-accepted offer marketing will only become more important as the boomers retire, and the Gen Ys and the generations that follow expect you to LOVE them.
My rule of thumb – call every 4 business days until they show up. Every 3 days if you think they’re at risk.
Of course, you don’t want your old school managers fumbling it like Mikey from Swingers below, so test them if you need to.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.