The current length of the hiring process is frustrating for employers and hiring professionals alike. Due to low unemployment and scarce talent pools, it’s taking longer to fill vacancies. In fact, a 2018 survey by CareerBuilder revealed 23 percent of employers have seen their time-to-hire increase by three or more weeks.
When you finally find the perfect candidate, it takes a huge weight off your shoulders. There’s just one problem: extending an offer doesn’t mean the hiring process is over. The CareerBuilder survey showed that 51 percent of job seekers continue to look for a job after they’ve received an offer.
It’s time to focus on an aspect of the candidate experience that is often ignored: what happens after the job offer. By finding ways to continue to nurture your relationship with candidates, you increase your odds of their acceptance.
Here are three ways to keep candidates engaged after offering them a job:
Create a post-offer package
Once a job offer is extended, it’s appropriate to give the candidate room to think. Slamming their inbox with “have you decided?” emails scares talent off. But there’s still an opportunity to offer valuable information about your company.
Even the most effective hiring process can’t delve into all the details of an organization and its team. And given the high-stress environment of job interviews and other screening steps, many candidates can’t fully digest all the details. This is where a post-offer package comes into play.
A few days after extending the offer, send the candidate resources like company culture videos or introductory video messages from leaders. The candidate can peruse the information whenever it’s convenient for them.
Encourage them to reach out if new questions pop up. If you can’t provide answers, pass along the contact information of someone who can. As a more complete picture of the organization forms in their mind, it increases the odds they’ll make a hard stop on their job search, accepting your offer.
Introduce current employees
Job seekers are always looking for networking opportunities. While you wait for a candidate to decide, offer to arrange meetings with current employees. For candidates, this creates a chance to grow their professional network, no matter their final decision. For your team, it increases the odds the candidate will say yes.
Meeting with current employees during the hiring process creates opportunities for relationships to form. Candidates can imagine what it would be like to interact with these team members and how their happiness will be impacted in the workplace daily.
However, these meetings need to be casual and not forced. After extending an offer, make a short list of employees who have shared interests with the candidate. Focus on educational background, hobbies, job history, and personality. Ideally, both the employee and the candidate will enjoy the meeting and easily discuss both professional and personal topics.
Approach employees on the list to see who has time to have a short meeting with the candidate. Once you have a volunteer, have the employee be the one to invite the candidate to meet. While you can ask the employee for feedback after the meeting, make it clear they are not “spying” on the candidate. This will ensure the atmosphere of the conversation is relaxed and natural.
Provide constructive feedback
For candidates, the hiring process is their chance to gauge how they’d be treated as an employee. In fact, the previously mentioned CareerBuilder report revealed 68 percent of job seekers believe candidate experience is a big indicator of the employee experience. Any way you show candidates they will be valued has a positive impact on their employment decision.
Career development is one factor that is very important to candidates. They want to know the organization will support their continued learning. By providing constructive feedback during the hiring process, candidates see you care about their development, even if they don’t end up with your company.
Identify ways to give feedback after every step of the hiring process. For example, after the video interview, send an email that outlines what stood out about the candidate. Be specific. Show how their responses indicate they’ll be successful in the role.
Also, include suggestions on how candidates can better present themselves in the future. If there is a particularly impressive resume point they didn’t talk about, explain why you would’ve liked to hear about it.
Your part in the hiring process isn’t over just because you’ve made a job offer. Showing candidates you are still communicative and supportive through day one enriches the candidate experience.