Until the early 2000’s, 90% of the offered candidates accepted the offer and joined work. As IT and Outsourcing industry boomed in India, opportunities increased significantly, especially at the junior and mid levels. Naturally, candidates maximized the gains for them. They shopped around looking for the best offer; current employers threw in a few interesting sops to retain the resigning employee.
These days, recruiters keep guessing if an offer will convert into a joinee. I have noticed, in certain sectors in IT, 40 – 50% offers drop off. Some organizations report 80% of their offers do not convert into joinees. 40% or 80% … it is crippling and unbelievably depressing! It is a major concern for the recruitment industry as well as for talent acquisition process. What can one do to minimize offer drop-outs?
Candidates drop the offers due to several reasons. Most common reason cited by them is a better offer having come their way. We must go under the skin of this ‘better offer’. If we can make our offer the ‘best offer’, it will be hard to resist. Best offer is not necessarily the highest salary, rather it is the offer that matches the candidate’s wants and needs!
We have to understand what the candidate is looking for. Often, the candidate is not clear what is the best for him (or her) and what one must ask or demand. A recruiter must play the critical role of listening to the candidate, developing the vital rapport with him (or her), helping the person give a finite shape to those expectations and re-calibrating them along the lines of realism.
Gaps in this step point to the fact that the recruiter is shooting in the dark; the candidate might or might not find the offer interesting; there is all likelihood of the candidate going for a window shopping once he or she has received the offer from you.
It is critical to position the offer right in the mind of the candidate. The offer appears to be the best when it matches with most of the needs. It is the intelligent recruiter who discovers the needs well, redefines them, checks how the opportunity matches with the needs and then highlights how the offer is the ‘best offer’.
The opening conversation is the most crucial in the entire life cycle of engagement with the candidate. Several times, the recruiter makes the mistake of offering the opportunity with a detail description and does not make an attempt of discovering the needs of the candidate. Naturally, the opportunity of consulting with the candidate to define and calibrate the expectations is lost.
The start is right when the recruiter is able to establish her credibility, gain attention from the candidate and listen to what could be a great career move for him or her. It calls for confidence of the recruiter, knowledge about the talent market, practice of having such discussions and ability to listen deeply.
Some recruiters tend to over-promise. Candidates get impressed and start visualising the work environment, the boss, colleagues, future opportunities and so on. After they start on the new job, they encounter the reality which is hugely away from what they dreamt about. This disenchantment grows; at a certain point in time, one starts exploring other opportunities and walks out of the job. The employer organization loses invaluable time and hence, money. The candidate suffers from emotional distress, loses time and works hurriedly looking for alternatives. Sometimes, it may not be possible to find another opportunity and hence, one forces oneself to a sub-optimal engagement and hence, a disappointing result for the employer organization.
It is critical that the recruiter does not adopt any shortcut in the recruitment process. Rather one must invest time and effort in discussion with the candidate such that a realistic preview of the job is there in front.
In sum, the needs of the candidate have to match with the job offer and the candidate must have a realistic picture of the job. The recruiter must have a good knowledge of the talent market and listen to the candidate deeply so that she becomes the trusted advisor of the candidate. Offer drop-outs become less of a trouble!!!
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