Turning a candidate into an employee and managing the offer process successfully

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The job market is at its most buoyant point in decades with the employment rate currently sitting at 74.53% according to the ONS report Employment Trends October 2016. To give this some context, it is the highest it has ever been since the ONS started compiling data in 1971 and higher than in the boom years of the nineties.

The automotive sector is not immune to this trend and you will have experienced for yourself the difficulties in finding the right type of talent for your business. Some specific jobs seem almost impossible to fill and when you do find the right person making sure they walk through the door on their first day is not guaranteed.

The culture of counter offers and buy-backs by current employers is becoming increasingly more prevalent. As motor trade recruitment specialists we are active across the sector nationally and would estimate that around 30% of offers made by employers don’t convert into a starting employee.

This means that a huge amount of effort and resources is being expended both by you and us without the result that either of us wants to see, leaving many automotive jobs unfilled.

Part of what we do as recruiters is manage candidates’ expectations about the motor trade recruitment process, explaining to them in detail what will happen and that there is a strong possibility that their current employer will not let them leave without a fight. Throughout the offer process and notice period we will stay close to your candidate and do our absolute best to make sure they start as we, like you, have a vested interest in a positive outcome.

We want to help businesses make the journey from candidate to valued team member memorable, ensure that you get the right person, and set them up for success. There are several things we can do as motor trade recruitment specialists to help with this but a number of actions can only be taken by  an employer; that is where you can really make a difference.

Below are some actions that we have found that impact conversion rates when recruiting for automotive jobs.

•    Treat candidates the same as you would an employee from the moment that you make an offer.
•    Find reasons to talk to your prospective employee throughout their notice period.
•    Vary the contact – engage line and senior management in conversations as well as the HR team. Do not underestimate the value of a personal call from a senior manager or director saying they are looking forward to welcoming the individual on board and working with them.
•    Get all the paper work done and contracts signed as early in the recruitment process as possible – this promotes a feeling of security.
•    Have an open door policy – invite them in for coffee, involve them in any team meetings.
•    Show them their desk and where they will be working, introducing them to their new team in the process.
•    Copy them in on any team communications.
•    Tell them you expect that they will be counter offered and that if they are talking to you about it is fine (it doesn’t mean you will change your offer but it does keep the communication open and give you options).
•    If you have corporate wear, make sure that your candidate has this delivered to their home address before they start so when they walk in on their first day they feel like they fit in.
•    Be patient – changing jobs is a stressful time for many candidates particularly if a current employer is turning the emotional screw.

The golden thread throughout each stage of motor trade recruitment is communication and contact. Remember a candidate’s existing employer will see them and talk to them every day throughout their notice period. They have an immediate and obvious advantage as a result. Rest assured, we will be working as hard as we can alongside you to get the right result and ensure they want to take up your offer.