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Techniques for Minimizing Candidate Dropout Before Day One


It’s no secret that losing an employee between offer acceptance and day one of work is excruciating for both you and your client. You have to replace the candidate quickly, your client was already sold on the candidate and you’ve spent considerable resources recruiting, interviewing and onboarding the candidate.

Studies show that 74% of job candidates continue to apply for positions while they wait for background checks. That means almost ¾ of candidates that you think are locked in – just waiting on that last background check to clear – are still out in the job market, able to get snatched up by someone who will pay more, offer better perks, or move faster.

On average, most staffing firms take 3-4 days to complete background checks, and it’s critical that you fully engage your employees during those 3-4 days. You can’t risk telling them you’ll be back in touch when their screenings are cleared, or they might not make it to day one.

Another culprit of a slower than necessary hiring process is pre-hire paperwork. Twenty-nine percent of firms report still having a completely manual paperwork process, while only 25% report being totally electronic.

Employees report that 35% of staffing firms made no attempt at all to engage with them between the time they accepted the position and starting employment.

Tips to Combat the Dropout

So why do so many staffing firms drop the ball when it comes to keeping employees engaged before day one? Most to blame: bandwidth. Once a candidate accepts a position, many recruiters move on to the next search – needing to stay active in order to keep their pipelines humming.

To combat the drain on time, some of the pre-employment engagement can be automated. Many applicant tracking systems allow for scheduling pre-hire notifications to be sent to employees. If messages appear to be personalized and deliver value to the employee (for example, explaining what they can expect as an employee of your firm), they can engage the employee and decrease the likelihood of dropout.

If your candidate is leaving another job to join your firm, stay especially vigilant. In these times of tight competition for top talent, many employers are presenting counteroffers in an effort to keep their employees. Smart employers know that it won’t be easy to replace their talent and are willing to pay more in salary to avoid the costs of recruiting, hiring and lost productivity. Be upfront with your candidates and let them know that if they receive a counteroffer, you want a chance to speak to them again before they decide to leave their current position. Know ahead of time what your candidate likes and doesn’t like about their current position so that you’re armed with knowledge if a counteroffer comes up.

Another technique to decrease the likelihood of dropout is to build your offer around the candidate’s key motivators. This means you need to know your candidate and their driving factors on a deep level. Invest time into learning your candidate’s career goals, what their ideal position looks like, and what kind of culture they would thrive in. Position your offer with these factors in mind and keep reinforcing them between offer acceptance and the start of the job.

Dropout is a real threat facing staffing and recruiting firms every day. But by minimizing the length of time between offer and start date, plus managing your candidate communications thoughtfully, you can greatly increase the chances of a successful start.

People2.0 helps staffing companies and recruiters minimize dropout for temporary and contract employees with industry-leading electronic onboarding and highly efficient background screening processes. To learn more about how People2.0 can help your employees get to day one, please email

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