Friday, February 3, 2012

The Monster called 'Back-out' – Part I

Amongst the many complains of a Recruiter against the Candidates, the most common one is that of a “candidate back-out” / candidate not joining a company after receiving the offer. It is a problem that all recruiters inadvertently face at all stages of THEIR LIFECYLE in recruitments !
Taking a step backwards, the TASK of making a candidate appear for an interview seems to be a gigantic TASK in itself at times. With the boom in multiple job openings and the shortage of appropriate skilled employees, life is surely not a smooth ride for the recruiters who are faced with multiple challenges at all stages of the recruitment cycle, the first of which is finding the appropriate ( 'right' ) candidate. Though the quality and quantity of candidates looking for a job, has increased dramatically, there is surprisingly, a dearth of the 'right' candidate.
This is accentuated by the fact that most of the 'right' candidates are passive job seekers. These are the people who are good at what they do, which is easily recognised and rewarded by their employers . Also, these are the people who can easily find opportunities based on references and recommendations and hence they do not feel the need to float their CV in the market.
Not to forget the burgeoning recruiter community which is adding to the woes of the recruiter himself . This is to say that these days we have more fellow recruiters chasing the same 'right' candidate that we are seeking and at times for the same opportunity as well ! So, the recruiter just doesn't need to find a better candidate, but has to win the race to reach him faster too.
The candidate's actions , the recruiter's perspective
So after all the hard-work of identifying the right candidate, reaching up to him way ahead of others and generating his interest for an opportunity, it surely comes as a big setback to the recruiter if the candidate backs out.
Most often, in such situations we see recruiters complaining about the candidates and their so called 'careless' or 'unprofessional' attitude. However, if we dig deeper, we will find that it is only so very human for the candidates to behave the way they do and the recruiters surely have ways and means to eliminate such cases instantly at the first level itself.
Lets look at instances where candidates back out and the recruiter blames them. But lets look at it from a non-recruiter view point :
Candidate backs out as the current company retains him Lets visualise ourselves in the situation- You get an offer and you put down your papers. You have been a good performer and the company doesn't want to lose you. They offer you a raise / new project / team or whatever else fulfils your need/ needs. You are in a dilemma. A job change brings with itself so many other changes. You have to be in a new place amongst new people. Get acquainted with a new team, new boss, new work culture. Prove yourself all over again. It might even change the time at which you wake up in the morning based on the new org's timings and the location. Yes, changing a job, definitely jolts a person at least once out of his comfort zone. There is unsettling and resettling . Therefore, in this framework, if your current employer offers you all or most of what you are getting in a new job plus the advantage of remaining in your comfort zone, you will surely be tempted to stay back and say to your recruiter his most dreaded words - ' I have decided to stay with my current org. ! '
So fellow recruiters, lets stop blaming the candidate in case he is retained by his co. You would have probably done the same in his position !
(There is definitely a flip side to getting retained in the org., but that is a different discussion altogether.)
The candidate leaves your offer for another job offer – Again, lets visualise ourselves. If you are looking for a job change, you would obviously not apply to a single org. only.You would definitely like to apply to multiple companies and then finally decide after carefully weighing all the options. Also, to expect that all the candidates would disclose to their recruiters the companies they have applied to as well as the status therein, is extremely immature. The candidate would definitely be apprehensive and secretive about sharing the details of another offer till the time he doesn't receive it as there is uncertainty about the same and he doesn't want to risk losing the offer you already have gotten him. So, why do we have to prosecute the poor candidate for choosing what he deems is best for him and is trying to protect the same ?
Having stated the above, it is not to absolve all the candidates of any wrong-doing. Yes, they can be at fault in the manner they handle situations.
However, being the smart tribe that we are (successful recruiters do consider themselves to be a class above ! ) , lets broaden our outlook a little bit and stop admonishing the candidate who turns down our offer . This is because our 'Right' candidate sure has the 'right' to do so !
Note:: The next blog would be on ways & means through which the recruiters can avoid the so-called 'back-outs' by nipping the problem in the bud.