Five Ways to Prevent the Candidates from Cancelling the Commencement of the Employment

Finally, after four months of searching, you have found the candidate to whom you have communicated your job offer. He (she) has gladly accepted it and confirmed the employment commencement date. You have sent him (her) a letter of acceptance or probably a draft of the employment contract. It’s the right time and two weeks before the employment commencement date you try to call, you write emails, but no reaction comes. The candidate did not start the employment. You have not learned the reason, because both the phone number and the email address remain unanswered. The circle of interviews begins again. You have no other option than to talk to the given “hiring manager” and agree on a new selection process. The time is running out, the recruitment costs are rising and the position remains unoccupied even after four months. Is this your story?

For a long time, we’ve been considering what steps we can offer to help you eliminate employment commencement cancellations by the candidates. The Czech Republic is currently breaking records. With the lowest unemployment rate, which we did not have even before 2008, the pressure on both the employers and the recruiters is even greater. Employers literally fight for employees. They shorten their recruitment processes, adjust office standards, compete in the provision of benefits, or increase their starting salaries. Nevertheless, according to our statistics, 30% of the new job candidates will not start the new employment.

We believe that in the following lines you will find a solution to prevent this situation, or at least find inspiring for the future.

  1. Analyse the reasons for cancelling the commencement of the employment

Find out the reasons for the candidate’s refusal at all costs.Regardless the way you feel about the candidate that failed to start the employment, try to find the true reason why the candidate did not start the employment. Knowing the right reasons will help you react in the future.

The most frequent reasons include:

  1. a) I remain with my current employer because he (she) has provided me with an even higher salary or managerial position.
  • Already during the initial meeting, check how serious the candidate is about leaving his (her) current job. Is he (she) really determined to leave and is he (she) open to the change, associated with a certain amount of uncertainty, or does he (she) just want to force the current employer to raise his (her) salary or take a managerial post, and he (she) has no chance to convince him (her) without a competitive offer? Maybe it sounds paranoid, but we do not see inside the people’s mind. Despite the well-asked questions, the non-verbal communication and the responses during the personal interview, you have a chance to guess the true reasons for the change and invest energy in the candidates who really want to work for you.
  1. b) I received a better financial offer from another employer.
  • The question remains why the candidate, who has confirmed his (her) acceptance of the job offer kept looking for another opportunity or responded to another offer. Already during the interview, ask how many employers is the candidate in touch with, in what phase of the communication process they are, and what factors is the candidate going to consider. Ask directly the question of how the candidate is going to proceed if you present him (her) an offer today. Candidates tend to compare offers from the individual employers and wait for the best. Find out how you stand compared to other competitors; let the candidate make a rating scale of the offers. If you rank within the first three positions, ask the candidate what you have to do to make your offer a winner. If the candidate does not respond, you will save your efforts and start looking for another candidate.
  1. c) I got an offer from the employer of my dreams.
  • Ask the candidate during the interview, in a completely relaxed manner, what their dream job is and what offer they wouldn’t say no. Learning about the candidate’s dream employers is worthwhile, and you will get the information on how to work with your employer’s brand and what to offer to the candidates so that you don’t rank 2nd.
  1. Verify the true motivation of the candidates

We have a market that favours to the candidates. The media don’t make the job of us, the recruiters, any easier and they openly suggest the candidates to be self-confident. They have a choice today. Especially the candidates with foreign languages, IT or technical specialists have offers to choose from. Despite this, their motivation is different. If you do not belong among the TOP 100 employers, focus even more on finding the candidate’s motivation. Why does he (she) want to work for you? Ask him (her) openly whether he (she) is ready for a change of employer and how he (she) will respond if his (her) current employer persuades him (her) to stay. Analyse and verify the reasons for a change he (she) states. Is he (she) really ready to make the change after ten years of working for his (her) employer? Doesn’t he (she) only want to get a competitive bid to blackmail the current employer?

  1. Sign the employment contract or instruct the candidate on the consequences of not starting the employment

In the Czech Republic, it currently takes about 100 days to employ an experienced specialist. It is a long time for you to lose a candidate two weeks before the start of his employment. Very few employers take advantage of the possibility to rely on the Civil Code, which, in case of unserious candidates, can be used to recover the cost of the damage caused by the failure to start the employment. As an employer, you have the right to claim the cost of the selection process in this case. If the employment contract is signed before the employment commencement date, the candidate is in violation of the terms of the employment contract if he (she) fails to start the employment, because only the employer can withdraw from the employment contract. It may sound hard, but if the candidate is determined to work for you, he will have no problem committing himself (herself).

  1. Intensively communicate and build your relationship before the candidate starts the employment

One of the most effective tools to eliminate this situation is intense communication just before the commencement date. Engage the future superior of the candidate and his (her) new colleagues. Invite the candidate for team breakfast or informal meeting. Take him (her) for lunch, motivate him (her) with new projects and challenges waiting for him after the start of his (her) employment. Show how you care about him (her), build trust and loyalty. If you have correctly selected and estimated the candidate’s level of responsibility, only few people will have the courage to withdraw just before the commencement date.

  1. Adjust your offer if possible

If it is possible and the candidate is so interesting for you and he (she) communicates with you, call a personal meeting and try to adjust the offer. Consider your options, do not let yourself to be blackmailed, because if this is the goal, your cooperation will not work and will be built on mistrust from the very start. Find out what makes your competitive offer more interesting, compare whether it is really worth it for you to adjust your offer, or turn to the candidate No. 2, who may be a luckier choice for you.

We keep our fingers crossed for you and we are curious about your experience.

Martina Klubicová, Managing Director Synergie