Our tips to ensure your dream candidate actually starts with your business

In the last episode of Nobody Likes Recruiters, which can be found here, we outlined the dos’ and don’ts’ of interviewing a candidate.

For example, you shouldn’t interview a candidate on a bed. Even if you work in DFS, this really isn’t cool.

Why are you laughing? I know someone who was once interviewed on a bed. I’m not making it up. It was awkward. Don’t do it.

But let’s pretend you’ve walked with the perfect candidate through your recruitment process.

They have excited you with their experience and you’re utterly convinced they’re the right guy or girl for your business.

How do you ensure this candidate doesn’t fall at the final hurdle? After all, it would be a monumental waste of your time and resources if you get this far only for the candidate to join another company.


Have no fear.

In this article and the accompanying show, we’ll tell you EXACTLY what you need to do to ensure you avoid the recruiting nightmare of losing a candidate at the last minute.

Don’t leave the big (and sometimes awkward questions) until the end

Look, I get it. Having conversations about salary can be a little tricky. Deep down, you might be worried that the candidate will want far more than you can offer, thus killing the process stone dead.

However, the consequences of not broaching this subject early can mean you squander valuable time.

If you have done the interview well, in reality, you should have covered the topic of remuneration. Just take a moment to consider all the work you have done to get a candidate to the point of offering them a job.

Think about everyone you have had to involve, from senior management (potentially) to HR, the last thing you want to do is return to them and say “our guy or girl had higher salary expectations than we thought so we’re going to have to employ someone else”.

The response will likely be that you should have identified what those expectations were well ahead of the point of involving the stakeholders listed above.

On a personal level, you will have spent time writing adverts, trawling through CVs, and organising interviews.

So, ensure you know what the candidate wants financially before going too far down the track with them.

I apologise for laboring the point, but you really will save yourself a lot of time and effort if you follow our advice here.


Take your candidate out of the ‘job seeking’ mindset

Ultimately, until the candidate is under the impression they have the gig, they’re going to be open to conversations with other businesses. This leaves you vulnerable.

Make sure you’re clear that you’re offering them the job if you’re now in a position to do so. Try and avoid the temptation to ‘low-ball’. If you’ve found the right candidate but you’re still trying to save £500 on their overall salary, our advice would be to just match them and get this done.

As we have mentioned in previous episodes, depending on your sector, finding a good quality candidate can be a real challenge in the current climate. On top of that, think about what impact you’ll have on a person by giving them the impression you’re not willing to meet them at what they want financially, especially if it’s not a million miles away from their initial expectations.

This is far too common and it’s not needed.


Delivering the good news

By the way, when I write the word ‘offer’, I don’t just mean salary. We’re talking about the package in its entirety. Everything that comes with the job.

What hours do you need them to work? What targets will you need them to hit? How much holiday will they be given?

Give. Them. A. Call.

That reads condescendingly, I know. But it is crazy how often these integral communications are done via email and it just lacks humanity.

The nice bit of the process is making the job offer. Speaking personally, it’s certainly one of things I enjoy the most about working in recruitment.

So talk to your candidate and deliver the good news. You can email over details later.


Delivering the bad news

You shouldn’t just consider those who make it through the process. You’ll want to be communicating with candidates who fell short of your expectations..

This is courtesy. It’s good manners. A candidate has gone to the trouble (and stress) of being interviewed, if they’re not quite right they very well might be in the future.

Giving everyone a nice experience is not only the right thing to do but can also be advantageous. These candidates may reappear in the future armed with more skill or they might interact with your business in other ways.

When Steve and I recruited for Phones 4u many moons ago, this was important to us. We were asked to consider that many candidates were also customers and we wanted to ensure they retained a favorable view of the company regardless of the outcome of their job search.


Keeping in touch during the notice period

Candidates can have anywhere between four weeks and three months before they start with your business.

Don’t leave your candidate cold. It is worth keeping lines of communication open while you both wait.

Remember that counter offers are prevalent. This is due to some of the environmental factors we have already covered on NLR.

You may find that your candidate is met with improved terms to the deal they have with their current employer. There isn’t too much you can do about this other than continuing to build rapport and ensuring that the candidate knows they’ll have it better with you.

So keep in touch.



The key message to take away is not to rest until the candidate is literally bouncing through your doors on their first day. Once you’ve interviewed a candidate, try not to leave it too long before giving them the feedback that they need.

If they’re successful, you should be acting quickly to confirm their offer and then keeping communication frequent during the period before they start with your business.

As always, Steve and I elaborate on all of the above (plus more) on the latest edition of the Nobody Likes Recruiters podcast.

Check it out!