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4 tips to ensure your candidates resign and start their new job on day1

Posted on 8/09/2021
by Nick Boulton

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The resignation process has fundamentally changed, so are you prepared for any request a company might offer your candidate to sway them to stay? Client Server Director Nick Boulton gives a few tips to ensure that a consultant's candidate can handle any situation that might arise during the resignation process.  


I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about how to give a good resignation, which aims at the candidate market and some typical hurdles they will encounter. But it mentioned little about how recruitment consultants should manage this ever-increasing plague in the technology market. 

Generally, consultants tend to be a little laissez-faire when ensuring their candidates resign promptly and start their new job on day 1.   

At one point in time, if your candidate wanted to leave, (for the right reasons) you only had to navigate them through the initial resignation meeting. That process has changed, and it’s here to stay. You can no longer just stroll into your manager’s office with your resignation letter in hand, confidently (but professionally) declare you are leaving and thank them for their support and time, with no pushback.  

No, no, no, this is not how the new world deals with resignations. It is now a myriad of twists and turns, HR calls, Manager meetings and final F2F chat before they even accept a candidate’s resignation.  

Over the last few years, companies have realised it’s more challenging to replace talent than find new talent, and the recruitment costs increase massively if you don’t try to retain at least some of those candidates. 

Managers, Heads of Talent, CPO’s and many more have become skilled at turning a slightly wavering resignation meeting in their favour. Add a promotion opportunity and a hefty pay rise, and it’s a slam dunk! U-turn achieved, the counteroffer is a huge success. 

This still doesn’t stop eager recruitment consultants from spending their commission cheques before it even hits their bank accounts. All too often, this leads to the mother-of-all comedowns, when the consultant realises their candidate is staying put, and they have a chunky rebate heading their way—makes *hangovers* so much worse… 

But the best consultants know how to handle this. They have already given their candidate an arsenal of tools to help in these meetings by running through all possible objections, counteroffers, and emotional dealings they will encounter.  

Candidates might feel like they’ve resigned, sent the resignation letter to their manager, and the jobs done. But in this new age of completely digital communication, there are a few more hoops to jump through, and many more opportunities for companies to turn those resignations around.  

Until that candidate rolls through the door of their new company, there is still a chance they don’t even pitch up on day 1. Consultants need to do more than take the candidate’s word that they have resigned. It is crucial to understand that there will be several Zoom meetings to discuss their resignation, which will take longer than the old way of resigning. Not only does this process allow companies ample opportunity to sow the seed of doubt, but also to fertilise, water, and weed it if necessary, until the once-heralded new job opportunity looks like a tattered, wrinkled old….You know what I mean. 

How do you counter this? 

  • Help with the initial resignation as usual, and prepare your candidates for what’s to come. 
  • Ask them to keep you fully informed of the resignation process their company has planned for them, which will include some or all the following: 
    • Initial HR call 
    • Manager meeting 
    • Peer review 
    • Possible further exit interview with HR 
    • F2F meeting in the office to hand over everything. 
  • Get their feedback after each one of the stages stated above. This is vital, because you can help steer them with more ease than if they were doing it on their own.  
  • Give them constant reminders why they were considering looking for new opportunities in the first place. 

Above all, prepare your candidate with all these scenarios in mind. The worst outcome might not happen all the time, but you need to be thorough by having your candidate prepared if you want to ensure they start on day 1. 


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