In the tech industry, the hiring highly-skilled talents has always been a convoluted affair. Post COVID-19, the situation has become even more challenging. The median time from search to hire is 44 days, mainly due to the several rounds of interviews and tests required to assess candidates adequately. As a result, more than 30% of new hires sign contracts but do not join the company or leave within six months.
In recent years, employers developed sophisticated onboarding processes to stop sudden fallouts and retain new staff. However, there is no bulletproof solution. Therefore, this article will examine the common pitfalls in the post-offer candidate engagement process and how to avoid them.
- Legal aspects of ghosting an employer in Singapore.
- Legal sides of ghosting in India
- A joint impact of legal sides of ghosting in other regions
- Keep the hiring process simple and proficient
- Intrigue candidates
- Make your decisions fast
- Make the most of every email
- Quick onboarding
- Invite them to the office
- Use onboarding and community platforms
- Give and Get feedback
1. The Post COVID-19 market situation for tech talent
According to the Mckinsey report, all sectors have seen a rise in automation, personalisation, and digitisation from the last era. Several technologies, such as cloud, big data, AI, metaverse, augmented reality, etc., support it. The result is an excess demand for tech talent and IT services, allowing experienced technologists to choose among offers from the best companies.
In addition to that, the great resignation and ever-evolving candidates’ needs make it highly exigent to onboard and retain employees. A study has found that post COVID-19; the Indian IT industry has been dealing with an all-time high attrition rate of 25% on average.
Despite the efforts, the talent management professionals are still not entirely out of the woods. Let’s look under the surface to understand the underlying causes.
2. Reasons for candidates dropouts after accepting an offer.
Before discussing how to increase post-offer engagement, we must understand why dropouts occur. A few key challenges lead to candidate disengagement:
1. Competing offers:
The tech talent crunch in the market drives unprecedented competition among employers. Tech specialists leverage this tendency and interview with even 5 companies simultaneously. As a result, they are able to sign and break multiple contracts concurrently.
2. Non-compete agreements:
Non-compete agreements prohibiting working for companies with a similar product offering or in the same industry are expected for most professionals. Tech experts are not an exception. However, in the post-Covid-19 talent market, where employees enjoy the exceptional privilege of dictating the do’s and don’ts, banning the freedom of choosing a relatable role for even 3 years does not meet with a lot of excitement.
Many candidates who were not briefed on the potential employer’s NDA policy during the recruitment process but were asked the sign it upon receiving the final offer are put in a difficult position. Consequently, it is not uncommon for a candidate to reconsider his/her decision and ultimately drop out before the first day at work.
3. Hybrid working arrangements:
Despite high levels of flexibility in IT, candidates are even more specific in their demands in regards to work-life balance. The crowning request is a hybrid working model. According to this study, 59% of companies globally and 58% in APAC adopt hybrid work, what puts them in the preferred group of employers. The remaining 40% is either not considered at all or abandoned the moment the candidate gets a better offer.
4. Poor follow-up process:
Maintaining an effective follow-up process is vital to attracting candidates. In the absence of regular catch-ups, the recruiter might miss on essential events or counteroffers that might have been addressed before the prospect makes up his mind.
HackerTrail InsiderTip: As a recruiter, your goal is to find the teller of tall tales as soon as possible so that you can prevent last-minute surprises. The best practice is to observe how these candidates react to the employer’s people and culture. Pulling them closer through various engagement activities and monitoring if they disengage. Most who are not keen simply make excuses not to join the engagement sessions or stop responding altogether.
3. Legal implications of ghosting an employer
1. Legal aspects of ghosting an employer in Singapore.
According to the Employment Act, the employer-employee relationship starts only when a new candidate starts work after being hired. If it does not happen, employers can't claim notice pay or any other compensation as per Employment Act. Since employers have spent lots of time and cost to hire, they can start a civil claim in the respective court.
HackerTrail Tip: In case the candidate decides to forgo the opportunity without any explanation, mark him in your database with a redflag and let your know colleagues know. You will save yourself disappointment in future.
2. Legal sides of ghosting in India
According to Section 5 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, ‘If a proposal is revoked before its acceptance has been communicated as against the proposer, it cannot be revoked afterwards.’ Simply put, an accepted job offer becomes a primary legal contract between new hires and employers. The employer's withdrawal falls under "Breach of Contract." However, both parties may discharge themselves from responsibility by negotiating a novation and/or satisfaction.
3. A joint impact of legal sides of ghosting in other regions
It has already been emphasised that signing the contract is a legal act. It is suggested to avoid breaching the contract. In any case, both parties must address the concerns of the other in the best possible way.
HackerTrail InsiderTip: We've learnt the hard way that candidates lie about their intentions. And that's not changing anytime soon. That being said, there are also a lot of candidates who choose to disappear / not join because they didn't get a clear sense of how the company operates, and what the team culture is like. We've found a few effective ways to combat that:
- Once offer is made and accepted, setup pre-onboarding engagement sessions:
- Organise a 'welcome to the team' call with the immediate hiring manager within 24 - 48 hours. Focus heavily on engineering culture, discuss where they fit in, and what types of projects they will be working on.
4. Post-offer engagement strategies for tech candidates
It is essential to keep the new hire engaged during the hiring process and afterwards. A candidate's attitude toward the company in the future is partially influenced by their post-offer experience.
Here, we have listed some effective post-offer engagement activities to ensure the successful onboarding of new hires.
1. Keep the hiring process simple and proficient:
Make a sound strategy for the recruitment process. You should have to clear your requirements and other expectations before posting any job. It would be good if you screened the suitable candidates in the initial stage to only the most technically proficient talent for your business.
2. Intrigue candidates:
Give potential employees an idea of what your organisation is about. Mobilise the power of social media platforms and channels to get potential hires interested in the company, work culture, employee experience, and working environment.
A good example is Facebook, red flagas created an onboarding program called "Move Fast With Stable Infrastructure" that assists new employees in becoming productive and adapting to the new culture.
HackerTrail InsiderTip: From an interview standpoint, allocate enough time for a culture interview and delve into specific areas such as business model, growth potential for the company.
3. Make your decisions fast:
Making decisions swiftly would not only benefit you but also all applicants who show interest in your job offer. Rather than deliberating for too long, which often happens during screening, interview, and onboarding processes, you should quickly decide if the applicant has the potential to excel in that particular role.
4. Make the most of every email
Each email plays a crucial role in improving candidates' joining ratio. New hires prefer to get a confirmation email and other emails in a timely fashion. But as per this study, it has been found that only 8% of candidates do so. Whether you wish to proceed further with a candidate’s application or otherwise, it is recommended that you reply to every candidate. You should leverage email automation tools and other similar tools to automate your communication with candidates.
5. Quick onboarding:
This is an excellent post-offer engagement activity. You should share your onboarding guide or other checklists as soon as candidates get hired for a job. It would help candidates to connect with your company. You can take the help of automated onboarding tools that make every stage of the onboarding process automatic.
HackerTrail InsiderTip: From a sourcing standpoint, try to find people already serving notice period. Tricky but not impossible, and you need to get to the bottom of why they're looking post an offer acceptance. We've seen a 200% conversion rate with such talent.
6. Invite them to the office
COVID-19 ushered in a new era in hybrid work arrangements and with video meetings becoming a mainstay in the corporate lexicon. But, virtual meetups can never truly replace in-person meetings. One of the best post-offer candidate engagement activities is invite them down to the office to meet the team before their official start date. This allows them to better understand the office culture, and team dynamics.
7. Use onboarding and community platforms:
Deploying a great tool might make a distinct difference in keeing the post-offer dropouts at the bay. Zapier Engineering leverages Sapling to improve the employee onboarding experience through building internal community. The company understands the importance of onboarding for geographically separated teams and reinforces the significance of 24/7 communication.
8. Give and Get feedback:
You must harness the power of correct feedback. Considering it for improving employee engagement could be a fantastic post-offer engagement idea. You don't need to send personalised feedback to every candidate who applied.
A standard reply with a brief thank you note to those candidates who applied but did not make the cut would suffice. However, you may choose to share more specific feedback with selected candidates, particularly those who were successful in their applications.
You may request ask for suggestions through small surveys, questionnaires, or other ways to make future hiring strategies more effective. Never hesitate to get feedback from them regarding your recruitment process.
5. Modern tools to help with employee onboarding
In an era of personalisation and customisation, employees want the same for their onboarding process. An automated employee onboarding tool can help you customise the process and make it easy and efficient.
Here are the top five tools for automating employee onboarding:
|Tool Name||Main Functionality||Link|
|Qualtrics XM||Get feedback through a customised survey and track your onboarding process||Employee Onboarding & New Hire Survey Tool | Qualtrics AU|
|Leapsome||Use this tool for improving engagement, learning, and performance||Employee Onboarding Platform - The Leading Employee Onboarding Platform (leapsome.com)|
|Freshteam||Design & deploy forms, documents, policies, and other guides accordingly||Best Employee Onboarding Software for New Hires - Automate Workflows (freshworks.com)|
|GroveHR||A great tool for developing personalised onboarding sequences||The New Approach to HR Management Software | Grove HR Platform|
|Gusto||Another good tool for automating the onboarding process||HR Software | Recruit, Hire, and Onboard With Gusto.|
6. Final Thought
At the end of the day, while it is quite simply impossible to stop candidates ghosting you post-offer and dropping out, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the number of dropouts. By communicating regularly, streamlining your hiring process, automating your onboarding, and being quick in your decision-making process, you'll be able to attract the tech talent you need and drastically cut down dropouts. You should also take this opportunity to convey your organisation’s values and what you stand for to get them off on the right foot.
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