After weeks of searching, you finally interviewed the one candidate you thought would be the perfect fit for that tough-to-fill role. They ticked every box on your list, and you thought you’d ticked every box on theirs; you then made an offer, which they enthusiastically accepted. Day one came and went without seeing or hearing hide or hair from them, and they haven’t returned any of your calls or emails since.

If this, or a similar scenario, has ever happened to your company, you know just how frustrating it can be, not least because – apart from all of that wasted time, effort and money – that one looming question remains unanswered: WHY? What happened?

In this article, we look at some of the crucial things that companies often overlook which can derail a new hire before they’ve even started.

Be Consistent, Be Thorough


Recruitment shouldn’t be about luck; of course, if you’re given enough CVs, you’ll probably eventually find a candidate that works out. However, if you work through an effective/controlled recruitment process, where you ask the right questions, you’ll consistently get better results than if you follow a less thorough, slap-dash process.

When recruiting for an in-demand role, it is essential to have a robust and consistent process in place. Working with a consultative recruiter like Sigma Recruitment will ensure your chances of recruiting the right candidate. However, if your company has dealt with similar issues recently, you might be overlooking some severe recruitment flaws. Here are just some of the questions you need to reflect on as a business:

What recruitment process did you follow? Did you do a second interview? Did you ask the right questions in the second interview? If the candidate came through an agency, did they follow the correct process? How is your employer brand impacting candidates’ decisions? Did you keep in touch consistently with the candidate during their notice period to ensure that everything was still on course? Did you pitch the offer promptly? How long did it take you to back up your offer with actual paperwork, confirming the offer in writing? Did the candidate have any other opportunities or offers in the pipeline?

Weighing Up Both Sides

It’s important to take the time to weigh up both sides during and after an interview. On the one side is what the candidate has now – current salary, benefits, perks, etc. –  on the other side is what you’re offering. If you’re not thorough enough in assessing both sides of the scale and everything that gets weighed up in making a decision, it’s entirely possible that the candidate might have a change of heart, offer or no offer.

For example, it’s not enough to assume that a £2,000 salary increase above what they’re currently making is going to be enough to tip the scales in your favour. You also have to factor in how the other benefits and perks of the job you’re offering weigh up against what they currently have, not to mention what impact accepting this new role might have on their personal lives – would they have a longer or shorter commute or would they need to relocate?

An effective recruitment process should force out all of the issues early on in the process, even (or especially) the ones that get taken for granted or assumed. An effective recruitment consultancy should be finding all of this out before they also send a candidate’s CV your way.

A Timely Offer

If a candidate has to wait more than a week after an interview to hear back from you, chances are they’re continuing their job search, potentially interviewing with one of your competitors, who may or may not make a better and more timely offer. Having to wait more than a week to hear back from a potential employer can send a negative message to candidates and sow the seeds of doubt in their mind, especially if the interview went well. They may not only be doubting whether they misread the interview; they’ll be wondering if they want to work for a company that keeps them waiting so long after what they thought was a promising interview.

Among other things, it sends a message to an astute or experienced candidate that a company may have some management issues. If they have other interviews lined up during that time, and if any of your competitors are faster off the mark in making an offer, it’s unlikely that they’ll hold out for yours.

Just as crucial as making a timely offer, is backing it up with actual paperwork. It’s one thing to make an offer verbally over the phone, but if you haven’t confirmed the offer in writing within a few days, this again sends a negative message and can erode any sense of budding loyalty or trust they might feel toward your company.

An Offer Isn’t An Offer Until It’s In Black And White

It’s key to remember that candidates (even promising ones) don’t often think about offers properly until they get all the paperwork.  Many candidates tend to think that whatever benefits they’re getting in their current role is sort of standard. So while they might seem initially happy with your offer, once they get the contract a week later and start comparing all of their new benefits with the ones they currently have, they might realise that the pension you’re offering is a lot less or that they’ll have fewer holidays. Individually, these kinds of things might seem small, but they can add up quickly, tipping the scales out of your favour. And if these kinds of potential differences are not discussed and made clear up front, they not only lead to misunderstandings, they can lead to mistrust.

Other Offers & Counter Offers

As previously mentioned, keeping your potential new hire in limbo can be a dangerous thing; whether they’re waiting for an offer, written confirmation of said offer, or even if they’re waiting out their notice period, this can be a nebulous window of uncertainty where other offers or even counter offers may transpire.

It’s a safe bet to always assume that in-demand candidates have interviews with other potential employers lined up. With that in mind, it’s crucial not to keep them waiting for an offer or written confirmation. The sooner you can get back to them, the less chance (and incentive) they’ll have to accept another offer from someone else.

While the popular consensus seems to be that accepting counter-offers usually never ends well for either party, that doesn’t stop companies who suddenly realise they’re about to lose a great employee to a competitor from making them, nor does it prevent those in-demand employees from accepting them. Any loyalty a new hire may feel they owe your company, especially if they’ve already signed on the dotted line, can be easily weakened by a tempting counter-offer and (more importantly) the sudden feeling of finally being valued by their current employer.

It’s, therefore, crucial to keep in touch regularly with new hires while they wait out their notice period, by keeping them in the loop on what’s happening in your company and inviting them around for regular meetings/visits.

How Sigma Recruitment Can Help

We are a South Wales Recruitment Specialist based in Cardiff, Wales.

We offer a full range of permanent recruitment solutions to many of South Wales’ and the South Wests’ leading manufacturing, technical, automotive and life science organisations. This includes companies in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Ebbw Vale, Port Talbot, Bridgend and the surrounding areas in South Wales.

Sigma Recruitment has one of the largest and most comprehensive recruitment candidate databases in the area. To get in touch with our team call us now on 02920 450 100. Alternatively, contact us here.

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