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Closing the Two-Week Gap

May 16, 2013

After all those interviews, you’ve finally found the right candidate, and you have a signed offer. Yay! Onboarding starts immediately, even if the candidate doesn’t. It’s great when your new hire can start right away, but more often there’s a two-week time lapse between signed offer and start date.

A lot can happen once the offer is signed. It’s a scary time for candidates, since they haven’t yet built a strong connection to your organization. They’re likely still being pursued by headhunters and other employers. There may be a strong counteroffer from the current employer. The hiring manager’s role during the gap can be crucial in converting a signed offer into a new hire. Here are a few ideas for hiring managers at best companies:

•Ask the newbie to lunch with some of your team and/or others who act as ambassadors for your culture. They’ll start feeling like they belong.

•Call them a week after the offer is signed. Check in to see how they’re doing, fill them in on the basics of what they’ll be doing in their first week, create a sense of anticipation. Ask if you can answer any questions.

•Reiterate exactly why you chose them, point out the one or two specific reasons you thought they stood out from other candidates. Reinforce the connection between their skills, experience, attitude and work ethic and the job they’ll be doing.

•Make sure they understand your company’s competitive advantage and why your company is a great workplace.

Do you have other ideas for closing the two-week gap? Please share.

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