I was talking with a manager who had an accepted offer from a candidate late last week. The conversation went like this:
Me - How's your guy doing? Have you called him since he accepted the offer? (1 week ago at the time of this conversation)
Manager - No.
Me - Why not? Don't you think he'd like to hear from you before he shows up to work?
Manager - Why?
Me - Well, he's still employed even though he told you he's given a notice. If they like him as an employee, they might try to show him some love between now and his final day in order to keep him?
Manager - Every time I have accepted a job, the company always just told me what day to show up and I did. They didn't make any calls to me before I reported.
Me - I understand what you are saying. The problem is that we've had at least 3-4 instances this year where the company the candidate was at ultimately made a big run at the employee before their last day. Lost 2 out of 3 of those candidates as a result. That suggests you need to proactive. Especially with our metro at 3% unemployment.
Manager - I guess I can, what am I supposed to say?
Hello, Captain Caveman. It's like I'm teaching someone to date. How many days until you call someone after getting a number? I've been married for a long time, so I've got no clue in the dating world. It matters in the recruiting world.
I'm noticing a substantial up-tick in signed candidates opting to stay with their employer after a counter-offer, or who are at least very open to telling us they are going through a counter-offer process. Counter-offers have been around since the begining of time, but the recent change I've witnessed suggests that counter-offers are occurring at much deeper levels in an organization, including support reps and entry-level developers.
Why the change? My company is in the software business, so I assume the loss of knowledge, for some of the companies we pull candidates from, makes a counter at any level more probable. I also think that low employment rates contribute to an up-tick in counter-offers.
The one thing that's money in the bank to squash the counter-offer? An engaged and interested hiring manager that the candidate will be working for at the new company. Something as simple as a phone check-in can keep the warmth going and prevent the candidate from accepting a counter that's not in their best interest. This type of post-accepted offer marketing will only become more important as the boomers retire, and the Gen Ys and the generations that follow expect you to LOVE them.
My rule of thumb - call every 4 business days until they show up. Every 3 days if you think they're at risk.
Of course, you don't want your old school managers fumbling it like Mikey from Swingers below, so test them if you need to.