Post-Offer-Follow-Up, or POFU, is the communication maintained with a candidate after an offer is made until the time of joining. POFU is performed with the intention of keeping the candidate interested in joining the company by clearing any ambiguity or uncertainty that may exist in the their mind. Queries can be related to any aspect from salary structures to company culture and leave policies.
An advisory approach is must to help the candidates outline their career objectives and motivate them towards taking the big leap by explaining to them the culture and the employer value proposition (EVP) of the organization they represent. However, it is rare that recruiters have a clear concept about what their EVP is and how it should be communicated in an effective way.
Here are 7 simple and easy ways you can engage candidates through a productive POFU:
Offer Declaration: When the interview process is over and the candidate receives an offer, the recruiter should take the initiative to put across to the candidate how valued they are and what the new career prospect has in store for them. It may help to develop and share videos, images and brochures about the organization in a place (company website, forum, blog, app etc) where candidates can easily access them, to give them a feel of what it would be like to walk the company corridors.
Peer Testimonials and Success Stories: Nothing promotes a company better than current employees vouching for it. Commitment to career progression, support for diversity and best practices implemented in the organization make much more sense when supported by testimonials and success stories.
Handling Queries: Patience is the bedrock of query management; on the understanding that the more inquisitive a candidate is, the higher the likelihood of them joining the organization. Once an offer letter is received by the candidate, they invariably compares it with their current job. This is often the key reason for the candidate to have doubts and queries. Typically, the perceptions of the candidate differ largely from the offer made. The recruiter must patiently explain rules and policies.
Escalating Queries: Should a recruiter not be able to handle a query, it is crucial that instead of making false promises or wrong commitments, the query is escalated to the appropriate people. This doesn’t absolve the recruiter of the responsibility of coordinating and following-up to ensure that the query is resolved. Unanswered queries lead to anxiety which, in turn, result in loss of faith.
Easing Pain of Separation: Several recruiters admit that making the candidate resign is the toughest step once the offer is accepted. Candidates are often faced with something known as “employment buyers’ guilt”. As human beings, we are bound to get attached. Even though the candidate has decided to move on, there is no denying the fact that they will miss something about his old job, locale etc. The candidate is walking a thin line here, it’s easy for them to tip either ways. Showing them a brighter, but realistic picture of future prospects with the organization helps keep them focused on the shift.
Weekly Follow-ups: Once the candidate resigns from their previous job and starts serving a notice period, they often start actively searching for alternative opportunities as well. The aim of following up weekly with the candidate is to ensure that they are happy with the present offer and goes to join the organization. The trick is to make them feel that they are already a part of the organization. Communicating through weekly newsletters; keeping them informed of activities and goings on at the organization and other such initiatives ensure that the candidate starts looking forward to being a part of the scene
Lookout for Last-Minute Jitters: The recruiter has to keep the candidate engaged and check for any behavioural changes. In case any changes are ascertained, the recruiter should begin probing the candidate to understand concerns and provide clarifications. Understanding the candidate’s behaviour also helps to identify red flags and arrange for backups if needed
Though the Post-Offer-Follow-Up process formally ends on the date of joining for the candidate, the employer must strive towards providing them with a good onboarding experience as well. After all, maintaining a good professional relationship with the candidate goes a long way and ensures better retention and productivity.