wanted to get some opinions on this topic, we have had candidates in the past give a verbal yes to accept a position and committ to starting another day, whether it may be a month or two from the accept date. 

Main question is what methods are you all using to keep them hot or make sure they dont apply or accept another position if someone reaches out to them - reason asking is we have had a few candidates cancel within weeks before starting the position...is there anyway to lock them down or have them sign some sort of agreement? 

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks.

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There are a couple of good rules to follow. 

First, do not let the candidate give more than two weeks notice before starting the new job; when a candidate tells me that he or she wants to give plenty of notice in order to finish projects they are working on, it is a sure sign that they are not committed, unless they are getting vacation in, but they need to resign before the vacation. 

Second, stay on your candidate to "keep it sold".  Very important. I constantly call candidates between the time they resign and the time they start.  I have almost no fall off.  When you speak to them, be sure to find out if they are being put under pressure by their current employer.  Make sure that they understand the dangers of counter offers.

Any candidate who is susceptible to another opportunity is one of low moral character.  You have to be sure that they are committed to their new job.

Third, get them involved with their new employer.  If they are nearby, get them to go visit, get information on the new position and, if possible, get them to obtain things to read and learn in the time between resignation.  This helps maintain the commitment.

Thanks for the reply Paul.

Even if the candidate is relocating do you try to get them to move within two weeks?  That seems to be a problem and I understand the longer the time between verbal acceptance and start date is critical.
 
Paul S. Gumbinner said:

There are a couple of good rules to follow. 

First, do not let the candidate give more than two weeks notice before starting the new job; when a candidate tells me that he or she wants to give plenty of notice in order to finish projects they are working on, it is a sure sign that they are not committed, unless they are getting vacation in, but they need to resign before the vacation. 

Second, stay on your candidate to "keep it sold".  Very important. I constantly call candidates between the time they resign and the time they start.  I have almost no fall off.  When you speak to them, be sure to find out if they are being put under pressure by their current employer.  Make sure that they understand the dangers of counter offers.

Any candidate who is susceptible to another opportunity is one of low moral character.  You have to be sure that they are committed to their new job.

Third, get them involved with their new employer.  If they are nearby, get them to go visit, get information on the new position and, if possible, get them to obtain things to read and learn in the time between resignation.  This helps maintain the commitment.

Mike, you want to move it as fast as possible.  However, most relocation packages include a trip or two to scope out the new market and find living arrangements.  It is important that during those trips, you candidate must have direct and personal contact with his new manager.  That connection builds the relationship.  I have had circumstances where the new supervisor is traveling in which case there should be someone else in management (not HR) who builds a relationship with the new employee.

Mike,

Slavery and human chattels went out with high button shoes so forget trying to control people with anything you can come up for somebody to sign or trying to lock somebody down.  If you have very many candidates accepting then dropping off the radar before start date you are either high pressuring people to accept, they developed a bad case of buyers remorse or the only sound they heard after they said yes was the wind whistling down the canyon.

That being said, new job jitters, a relocation etc is a very insecure time with anybody because it is a life changing event so approach it as you would any life crisis with a person.  That means stay in touch.  Paul is very right get the new employer engaged as well as yourself.  It can be as small a thing as sending an invitation to a company event that will be taking place.  I send an email mentioning that i spoke with someone today who said they were looking forward to meeting you on the 5th when you get there.  If i have linkedin connections with the new company i ask them to connect with the candidate who just accepted with their company.  I send links to things to do in the new city if there is relo involved.  Schools and real estate information.  A list of churches, golf courses, kid activities, doctors, dentists, dry cleaners, restaurants.  All the little things that people start thinking about having to change if they are making a physical move.

I can only remember two in lo these many years who fell out before they started.  One was a buyback who thought he knew more about everything than anybody else in the world and ended up quitting six months later and whining that he made a mistake and the other was a very young programmer who got an offer a block from his home in Dallas for 10K more than he had accepted in another city.  In that case i would have done the same thing ,so it happens but not often if you aren't putting a hard core press on people to accept something they are unsure about or you got the acceptance and moved on leaving them swinging in the wind not hearing from you or their new employer.

However, if somebody accepts and then drops off before start date you dodged a bullet.  Better to have them accept something else before they start than have your client invest the time, relo expense and fee in a new employee who quits in a short period of time because they took something they really didn't want, spouse changed their mind or they got a better offer and left 60 days later.

 

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