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Stop losing talent at the last hurdle!

  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago
  • Author:by MERJE

Next up in our Recruitment Challenges series, we’re looking at that nail-biting period of time between the candidate accepting your offer and starting with your business.

You’ve interviewed, assessed, and discussed. You’ve found your ideal candidate, and after reading our first article, The Dos and Don’ts of Making a Job Offer, you’ve put those points into action.

You’ve made the right offer to the right person, your chosen candidate has accepted and now they have a few weeks’ notice period to work in their current position before they can join your team. But this is no time to sit back and relax.

Not out of the woods yet

Many people may think that offer acceptance is the end of the recruitment process. But we’re here to tell you that is not the case!

In fact, our recent LinkedIn poll showed that counter offers are the second biggest challenge that is stopping hiring professionals from successfully filling their vacancies at the moment, and this is no surprise.

During the notice period, other employers and recruiters will still be doing their best to tempt that candidate away. And at this stage in your hiring journey it will sting all the more if they succeed!

The individual’s current employer, in particular, will be conjuring up attractive counter offers and buy back options for this person to consider; it’s far more business efficient to keep an existing employee than to go through the hiring, onboarding and training processes for their replacement.

Take action

To combat this, your company needs to be doing everything in its power to keep that candidate engaged with your business and employer brand. This must go beyond the typical efforts of making a reasonable offer of salary and remuneration and then crossing your fingers until the start date.

Once the onboarding wheels are in motion, here’s what you should be doing to optimise your new staff member’s pre-employment experience:

Keep up the communication

It’s important to stay in touch with the candidate frequently in the time between them accepting the job offer and starting with your business. Not communicating with them for weeks/months at a time can leave them feeling isolated, unsupported and even unimportant, which is certainly not how you want a new recruit to feel!

Too much time without a catch-up allows doubts and worries to creep in and leaving these unaddressed could lead to the individual changing their mind about accepting the role. Regular check-ins give the candidate plenty of opportunities to raise any concerns, meaning you can tackle them quickly without letting them build up in the candidate’s mind.

Add a human touch

Similarly, a candidate onboarding process that is fully automated, with only generic emails guiding your new employee through the pre-employment steps, while efficient and time-saving for your business, can also leave new employees feeling detached.

Phone/video calls and catch ups over coffee or lunch can go a long way to making your new recruit feel like part of the team before they’ve even started with the company, which it sure to reduce the risk of a last minute drop out.

Integrate with the team

Going one step further, you can even begin introducing your new staff member to their team and those they will be working with. Inviting them along to team outings or after work drinks gives them a head start in building those vital workplace connections and can really take the pressure off the first few days in the office.

Having said that, it doesn’t have to be as full on as a work social. Just a quick call/email from a few team members to say, “Welcome to the team, I’ll be working with you on XYZ and if there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.” will promote a more gradual introduction process, which can kick-start the feeling of being welcomed to the business, make the first week far less daunting and decrease the risk of information overload that often comes with starting a new position.

Add them to the loop

Getting your new recruit excited about the things they’ll be working on once they start is another great way to boost commitment and reduce the chances of them changing their mind.

Fill them in on what projects are going on at the moment and what they will be getting involved in once they have joined the team so they can start thinking about what actions they’d like to take, plans they’d like to put in place, and how to prioritise their duties.

Give them plenty of information

The more information you provide to the candidate before they start, the more confident they will be in joining your business.

There is a huge variety of documents you can supply which will paint a fuller picture of what working life is going to be like at your company. This will really help to get future employees enthusiastic about starting their new role and make them less likely to consider other career options that are being put in front of them. For example:

  • Welcome pack

  • Company brochure

  • Career pathway options

  • Case studies of current employees

  • Employee testimonials

  • Onboarding schedule and plan for first few days/weeks/months

  • To do list to prepare for their first day

  • Links to all your social media accounts so they can follow you

  • Values/Ethos statement

  • Diversity & Inclusion policy

  • Recent news update

  • Detailed list of benefits and perks

Navigating the notice period

Every day, recruiters handle offer management, buy back options, unsure and indecisive candidates, and all the other challenges that come up in the hiring journey, so we are pros at overcoming these trials and working towards the desired outcome.

Especially at MERJE, it is in our core ethos to truly get to know our candidates and clients, to build a deep understanding of their specific needs, motivations and aspirations so that we can match the right people with the right opportunities from the off, reducing the risk of last-minute difficulties.

If you’d like further advice, guidance or recruitment support, just get in touch with our expert team.


This article is the second in a series sharing advice and guidance for clients to overcome the recruitment challenges they’re facing in the candidate-driven employment market.

Check out all the articles to see hints and tips for different stages of the recruitment journey to help you build a successful process:

Introduction: Why is hiring so tough right now?

  1. The dos and don’ts of making a job offer

  2. Stop losing talent at the last hurdle!

  3. Where have all the candidates gone?

  4. Harmonious hiring relationships

  5. Bonus! Interview Processes: neither a marathon nor a sprint