How to Keep New Candidates Engaged

Prevent your new employee from getting cold feet between acceptance and start

If you work for a company with ambitious growth plans, you probably put a lot of time and money into recruitment – into finding great candidates and showing them how you will help them grow, build their reputation and increase their earning power. You probably go to quite a bit of trouble to negotiate their salary and benefits. But what happens when the wooing is over and the deal is sealed?

Your shiny new candidate has just made a huge, potentially life-altering, decision. They have decided to trade in their old, comfortable job for a new, more challenging adventure. While they are excited, they may also feel anxious about the change. And they probably have to give at least one month’s notice.

Yet, it’s during this most-vulnerable time that so many candidates hear nothing from their new employer. They have been wooed and pursued and made an exciting offer, but as soon as they accept that offer, communication shuts down and they don’t hear anything from their new manager or team until their first day in the office.

When you look at it from their perspective, it’s easy to see why so many candidates who have accepted an offer, change their minds and withdraw. And in the candidate-led market we operate in, it is even more likely that a candidate is still being wooed by a competitor – you can never assume that deal is sealed.

Luckily, there is a lot you can do to reduce the risk of this happening. It all boils down to making sure the candidate understands that they are valued and prioritised.  

Here are 5 things you can do to make the candidate journey a positive one:


  • Call them and send them a gift when they accept your offer


A phone call from the CEO or a senior member of staff can go a long way to make a new employee feel valued and encouraged. A quick, personal word of welcome is always appreciated.

Going the extra mile to call and introduce them to the team, or even send them a gift, like a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates, or even some of your products. This is a great way to show your new employee that the team is looking forward to meeting them. It’s also a good opportunity to showcase the team’s creativity – think outside the box and send them something unique or off the wall. We think these personalised marshmallows are pretty cool!


  • Invite them to meet the team before they start


I sometimes ask candidates who are considering an offer, what they think they would miss the most if they were to leave their current company. The most common response is that they would miss the friendships they have forged over the years. After a bit of conversation, however, they soon agree that moving to a new company could enable them to grow their network and make new friends. When I call them to check in after the first week or so, most of them are very happy and are enjoying meeting all their new colleagues.

How much stress and anxiety could have been avoided if the new candidate had had the opportunity to meet their team members before their first day? I often advise my clients to invite their new starters to culture- or team-building events – even if it’s just a pint down the pub one evening.


  • Keep in regular contact by sharing interesting information


Simply taking ten minutes to send your new starter an email with some background information on the company, their role or a particular account they’ll be working on can make all the difference. You could even send them a draft of something the team is working on and ask for their opinion on it. This shows that you value their input and that you are committed to their growth and learning.


  • Consider teaming them up with a mentor


The first few weeks of a new job can be overwhelming. Consider asking someone in the team to play the role of an unofficial mentor to your new starter. This way the candidate has someone to turn to when they are unsure, or if they have questions they feel uncomfortable asking their manager. You could even put your new candidate in touch with this mentor before they start.


  • Make sure your entire onboarding process is seamless


It is well worth ensuring that your company’s entire onboarding process is as streamlined and organised as possible. The less structure and information your new starter has, the longer it will take for them to add value, and the more likely they are to make mistakes, lose confidence and regret their decision to join the company.

Consider creating a detailed induction booklet, or a series of videos or online tutorials that new starters can go through at their own pace.

  • Your commitment determines their commitment

You want your new employee to come to work on their first day feeling fully committed, energised and confident. You need to help them do this by proving that your company is pro-active, organised and a great place to work. Don’t forget that, as their future manager, you represent the company – everything you say or do (or indeed don’t say or do) plays a part in building their perception of the company and whether or not they will enjoy working there.

Looking for a new team member?

If you are looking for a new sales or marketing specialist to join your team, why not get in touch, we have some amazing candidates who are looking for their next challenge.

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