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The Rebound Hire

We’ve all been there, we’ve met the one (Mr or Ms right) only to be bitterly disappointed when they don’t feel the same way.  That’s candidates for you!

The highs and lows of recruitment can be akin to the highs and lows of love.  Although recruitment is a little more strategic (or we like to think it is) than cupid’s bow and arrow.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day here are our (tongue in cheek but perhaps all to familiar) signs to spot that your preferred candidate/new-recruit might not be that into you.

  • Not taking your call

The biggest sign, all may not be well, is if the candidate does not take your (numerous) calls.  If it’s taking you a few days to get hold of them, alarm bells should be ringing.  Of course, it could be for a multitude of reasons and may have nothing to do with you as the potential employer.  Our advice is to give them a gentle cut off point to respond.  This is a fine balancing act as you don’t want to frighten off your preferred candidate but equally if the role is not for them you don’t want to lose any other hot irons you may have in the fire.

You need to make a judgement on how easy this role is to fill but if your recruiting gut is telling you that you are being led a merry dance it may be best to end the relationship before you get into a contractual agreement.

  • The Play off

So, you’ve made the offer and they have seemingly accepted but then they come back to say that their current love (we mean employer) is doing all they can to woo them back!  What’s a recruiter to do?! 

In this circumstance (well in every circumstance) it’s important to know before you enter the “game” the parameters you can work within. 

Before you even advertise a position, you need to understand the market you are operating in, is this a hard to fill post, typical length of service, what’s the seniority?  

Think of all of this before you incentivise your offer further. Always make sure you are paying a salary relevant to the post and that it’s a price the organisation can afford.

Don’t get involved in a bidding war, remind the candidate of all you can offer and the opportunities that await and be clear on how much you can pay.  If they decide to decline the offer there are always more fish in the sea!

  • Cold feet

So, you asked them to go out/join your team. They said yes. But when you want to actually have the first “date” you don’t quite get a firm commitment. They insist they’re done with their current job and you’re the one for them, they just need a little more time to end their current relationship.

You know, the break-up is going to be hard (they say) on their old love so they want to take it easy on them, time it just right, so they don’t get hurt. You understand, right?

To a point you probably do, you convince yourself what a great person they are for being so considerate (and that may be true). But like with the “play off” if it’s taking them just a little too long to hand in their notice and sign on the dotted line it could be a huge warning sign.  Talk to the candidate and probe to see what is really going on. You might need to exert some gentle pressure to get them to seal the deal.

Ultimately, you will have to judge the situation on merit and respond accordingly but you must think of the overall business need and if a candidate is too reticent it may be best to cut your losses sooner rather than later (as harsh as that may seem) – rather than have them join and leave during the probationary period.  Remember the probation period is a two-way street.

  • When “we” is not you

Hurrah, you’ve overcome any initial hurdles and your preferred candidate joins!

It will take time for them to “bed in” to become an established member of the team but there is nothing like the thrill of hearing them say “we” for the first time.

We don’t like to be all doom and gloom, but you need to be sure the “we” they speak of is you and well not someone else!

Ok ok we know that it’s natural in the early days for a newbie to be connected to their old employer but if the “we” never becomes about you, you need to think of ways to integrate them into your working environment. 

Failure to do that might mean you are recruiting sooner that anticipated.

A sound onboarding and induction can help to acclimatise a starter to their new working environment and prevent you having to undertake another costly recruitment exercise.

  • A case of the Ex

They start to dress you up like their former boyfriend/girlfriend we mean employer! You know what we are talking about – they start to slowly but surely recreate their past working environment – same ideas, same setup, same lingo, same collaborators, same wear yellow it’s a Wednesday kind of thing!

While there can always be cross organisational learning you need to make sure any cross overs are to the benefit of your business. 

The transitional joining period can be hard for candidates/new employees and with your expert support they can navigate the pitfalls and go on to become a longstanding (outstanding) member of your team.

But be wary of the signs that we point out – ignore them at your peril!

Click here to read the candidates perspective of the dating (we mean recruiting game).

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at WMJobs.