Why your new hire was a no-show

A long search. The perfect candidate. A swiftly accepted offer. Then your new hire is a no-show on their first day.

What went wrong?

It’s an incredibly annoying experience. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many businesses with engineering and IT jobs they want to fill end up in this situation.

Here are some things you can be aware of and steps you can take to avoid it happening in future.

How to minimise new hire no-shows

1) Assess your recruitment process

It’s not uncommon for tech start-ups and other businesses that have grown very fast in a short period of time to be expanding their teams without considering their recruitment process from a technical standpoint.

Your expansion might mean you suddenly need three software developer jobs filled as soon as possible. But do you have the processes in place to ensure you’re hiring people who are going to be the right fit for your team and the ethos of your company?

Of course, working with a professional IT or engineering recruitment agency is the easiest way to make this process more systematic. You’ll have fewer holes through which good candidates can slip through.

If you’re not using a professional recruiter, make sure you properly assess and regularly review your recruitment process in-house as you grow.

2) Aim for more communication

Candidates can lose interest in even the best job opportunities if the company they’re joining doesn’t keep in touch.

Don’t go over the top. But do make sure there is clear and consistent ongoing communication with the candidate after your job offer has been accepted by them.

This keeps them locked on target and mentally in the right space to turn up on their first day, knowing everything is properly arranged and ready for them.

3) Get the job offer right

The way you make your job offer to a candidate can have a large impact on whether or not your new hire will be a no-show on their first day.

The longer a candidate has to wait between interview and job offer, the more likely they are to think they’ve been unsuccessful, to be interviewing with your competitors, and potentially getting better or alternative offers.

Your decision-making process after interview should ideally be fast to head this situation off. The timeframe that is often given as the absolute maximum a candidate should be made to wait is a week.

You will also want to be sure that you confirm your job offer to your candidate in writing as soon as possible. Otherwise, you send a disconnect between how keen your offer might appear verbally and the speed you’re willing to make it “fact” in the minds of most candidates.

4) Consider the offer you made

Most of us quickly adapt to the situation we’re in. In our working lives, this tends to mean we judge our next job offer against our current one.

If their last role as head of data science included a whole range of benefits that they became used to, a candidate may expect them to be a “standard” part of a package. If your – admittedly higher paid – role doesn’t come with them, doubts may start to creep in.

Now, you might say that this is the sort of thing that your job description made clear. Yet it’s not always absolutely the case in the mind of your preferred candidate until they see their job offer or contract in black and white.

Then they have numbers they can compare against their old job. That’s another reason why it’s so important to get that job offer across quickly and make sure lines of communication stay open – so issues like this can get addressed and resolved.

5) Remember that they might just have gotten a better offer

In some cases, you might have done everything right. Your recruitment process is tight and positive. You communicated clearly, sent a job offer quickly in writing, kept communications open, and were willing to discuss the offer you made.

If you think this is a great candidate though, odds on other people do too. Your candidate may also be waiting out their notice period, a dangerous situation where they can’t join you but can receive other offers.

These offers may offer some intangible quality that yours doesn’t. Ensure that your offer does present that quality a candidate is looking for and doesn’t let them slip away by regularly reviewing your recruitment process, working with a professional if necessary.

Need to make sure your favoured candidate actually turns up on the day?

Let’s talk. Ernest Gordon is a specialist IT and engineering recruitment company. We work with organisations of all sizes to find the best candidates and keep them locked in until their first day.

Set up a cost and commitment-free consultation with one of our recruitment experts today to talk through your job role and the candidate you’re looking for.