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How to stop candidates being lured away

You’ve interviewed a great candidate whose values are aligned with your business values, and you think will fit in well with your team – a great match! They seem excited about the opportunity, and you decide to make them a competitive offer of employment. It all seems to be going swimmingly. Then on the day you expect to see the signed employment contract in your inbox, you see an apologetic email from the candidate instead, letting you know that they’ve taken another role.

This is just one example of candidate poaching and it is, unfortunately, happening more often in this tight candidate market. This scenario happened to a very unhappy employer in the property industry recently who called us for recruitment assistance after this occurred.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. We have some tactical advice for employers on how to minimise the chances of this happening.

  • Get your house in order
    Make sure all documentation is in place straight after making an offer of employment. Then work on all the other steps needed to get the new hire started such as a computer, phone and other tech, their new email address, and any physical space such as a desk or office.
  • Stay in close contact
    Find ways to stay in regular contact with new hires after the contract has been signed. This will help generate excitement in the interim period before their start date. Don't leave new recruits wondering what is happening. It could be something small such as an email to let them know their office is set up or their business cards have been ordered. It’s also a great idea to outline a list of things they will be doing in their first week and month on the job. The point is to keep them engaged and get them really excited about their new workplace.
  • Move Fast
    Our advice is to move quickly when finding a suitable candidate. There’s a war on talent out there and we’re seeing candidate poaching occurring at every step of the recruitment process. So, it pays to move quickly and be decisive when identifying talent.
  • Be prepared for counteroffers
    Be aware that candidates may be approached with offers of employment from past employers, by businesses they have previously made applications to and via businesses who have found them on SEEK and other job boards. In this situation, consider your intent to hold onto that employee. Will you make a competitive counteroffer or look at other retention strategies such as offering more flexible work arrangements?
  • Engage with your existing team
    Whilst your mind may be on recruiting new talent, don’t forget to nurture your existing team. Put yourself in the shoes of your employees and review what their workplace experience is like. Is there enough engagement? Lack of engagement is a common reason for employees to change roles, so it’s an important question to ask. Due to COVID-19, there are many people are needing extra input and support.

Considering how much time and resources are spent on the recruitment and onboarding of staff, it’s no surprise that employers get distressed when candidates are lured away to another business. Employers looking to recruit in this tough employment market can take these practical steps to stay ahead of the competition.