The ones that get away

We’re involved with uniting people and jobs on a daily basis, and we also hear lots of stories about how employers go about their hiring processes. We recently heard a story that’s a good example of how a hire falls apart needlessly in the final stages.

The scenario went like this: Search requirements that were hard to fill; ideal candidate with the desired niche background and stellar references, who really wanted the job; and a good fit between candidate personality and employer culture. 
The problem: The employer failed to find out what was really most important to the candidate until the offer was made. It turned out that the candidate was not primarily motivated by salary, but rather by quality of life issues, including vacation and flex-time. While the candidate was perfectly happy with the salary/bonus offering, the employer was unwilling to match the candidate’s desire for vacation to match his current job and professional association expenses.
The outcome: The candidate turned down the offer and decided to continue searching.
The cost to the employer: Thousands of dollars in time and hard costs; the continued vacuum of productivity with an empty chair; and the loss of good will and perception as an employer-of-choice.
What’s the potential lesson? Employers, make sure your offers are accepted by using professional search consultants, either internally or externally. The willingness to adapt compensation packages to accommodate the differing needs and desires of potential employees can go a long way to securing (and keeping) exactly the talent you need. If your HR or internal recruiter tells you what the people want, and it’s not unreasonable, be willing to provide it! And a good external recruiter or consultant, brought in for even just a part of the process, can ensure a happy ending.
Do you have a story about a candidate that got away or an offer that you amended to get the hire made? Or an offer that you turned down because an employer was unwilling to work with you on some aspect of it? Tell us! We love stories! (Just leave the names out to protect the guilty…)

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