An interesting observation that occurs at this time of the hiring process is this – and it involves the dreaded counter-offer: Candidates that accept a counter offer from their current employer almost universally leave that employer within 6 months of accepting it…with the majority of those leaving in a matter of weeks. The pay might have changed but not the conditions that pushed that candidate out in the first place. Keep that in mind when faced with a candidate who has a counter offer to deal with.
The Offer stage is when a lot of candidates pull out of the entire hiring process. This is why communication is key. Be there to answer any questions they have, and remind them to think of the reasons why they were looking in the first place. Sometimes some reinforcement of the positives of the role is needed to push them over the line.
If you believe that once the offer is out, then everything is done, the candidate will start and all you need to do is sit back and wait for them to start, you couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the time when the candidate will need more attention then previously. Because it is at this time where a lot of candidates pull out of the offer due to the realisation of the enormity or the change, the waning desire to go through a resignation and their overall wish to remain as a status quo. All this requires you as an employer to remain in constant conversation with the candidate to ensure they go from candidate to employee.
Once you have made a qualified decision on which candidate is the pick for your role, and all checks come back positive, it is time to put the offer on the table. Start by verbally confirming the offer over the phone, so as to make the candidate initially aware of your intention to hire. Following that, the more formal offer can be sent out to the candidate for consideration. But is that the end of the hiring process?
Have you got enough information to make a qualified decision on which candidate you want to offer the role to? If not, don’t. There is still time to revisit a step in the hiring process to make sure there is all the information needed to make the decision on. Remember, it is better to take a little longer time to make a decision, than to make a decision based on lack of qualified information and risk making a poor hiring decision and having a bad hire to deal with.
What you ask a referee should determined by what you want from the candidate. That is, if you are unsure about their team fit or behaviours, focus on that. If you are unsure about technical or other competencies, ask questions around those. By no means should it be generic questions. You want to find out how a candidate fits into your role and workplace and these is no better source than from someone who has worked with them previously – so ask questions that confirm any outstanding points about the candidate you want finalised.
Typically, the appropriate number of reference checks to be completed are two. However, for more senior roles, more will generally be needed. The referees need to be direct managers or supervisors of the candidate, not same-level colleagues or friends. If you are unsure of a referee’s status, check the likes of LinkedIn or a business directory to confirm.