Candidates taking an offer and not showing up is an age-old issue.

This has become even more rampant post covid-19, once the market opened there was a flood of hiring in most sectors which created a very high number of vacancies compared to the candidates available in the market. This unprecedented high demand to low supply was rarely witnessed before. Each candidate moving in the market with his resume had at least 2-3 offers if not more.

Candidates demanded unreasonable hikes never heard of before. Pre-covid if the hikes were 15-20 percent, post covid the demand was a minimum 30-40%. This created a domino effect of many employers increasing their pay out and even the existing employees demanding a better appraisal.

We as consultants got to know of the current trends from our existing clients where the offer was taken and the candidate backout at the last moment. This is an unprofessional approach on behalf of the candidate leaving the employer high and dry after waiting for this notice period and not joining there after. Candidates have given personal reasons to not join/ seek time to negotiate with others. This problem is even more prevalent with sales people/ PNL handling people where they have an outstanding and they cant join as they don’t get a relieving from their existing employer until they clear the outstanding’s. Before the offer though the candidate lays out the plan that how he/she will proceed post the offer on this resignation, outstanding’s etc.

The problem here begins after the candidate has taken the offer letter. The retaining employer doesn’t entertain a resignation immediately and only a persistent effort with a proper handover/ outstanding schedule works. So how do we ensure that the candidate doesn’t misuse the offer letter and joins. As an employer / HR manager you may need to do a personal follow up on a regular basis to find signs of backing out. Within the first few days the copy of resignation should reach you and within 10-15 days the acceptance of resignation. If either of the two doesn’t happen during this period most likely the candidate will back out as the candidate’s persistence starts to wear out. This delay causes a further delay in joining as generally the retaining employer takes the date of acceptance of resignation as the date of resignation and the beginning of the notice period.

As a hiring employer one needs to factor this delay as well. There are candidate who wont be able to bear the emotional and wrath thrown at them and take back their resignation. The family too plays an important role here as they cannot see the person being stressed and stretched. There could be personal reasons for the backing out as well considering most are staying in nuclear families and with a new job a near arrangement needs to be made, an after realisation causes people to back out. There are some employers who offer employment letters without the compensation details to negate the misuse of the offer letter. But then its up to the candidate to believe the employer and go ahead.

As a consultant every candidate who accepts an offer is now tracked first for resignation copy and then for acceptance within the time frame. Then followed up every week to ensure they are on track to join. Any sign of backing out including the signs mentioned above are taken seriously and internally discussed to look for a solution/ client informed to create a contingency. We as a professional recruitment company prepare for contingency and have backups ready to reduce the effect and delay by prompt interviews and selection.