If you have been a recruiter for longer than 12 months, the chances are you have had a candidate ‘accept an offer’, and then ‘fail to start’ a new contract of employment.


“Is there anything that you can do to stop this from happening?”

The short answer is: ‘no’…

…If someone has made up their mind, it is usually impossible to turn the tide, with any confidence.

Let us look at the question again and ‘redraft’ it… “Should we be trying to ‘stop’ this from happening, or should we be looking for the ‘tell-tale’ signs earlier in the process?”

…We think the latter.

We should all be ‘measuring’ the amount of ‘prep work’ that we are putting into a piece of recruitment – long before an offer is even on the table.


When we speak to candidates at Jonothan Bosworth, we are constantly trying to ‘understand’ the motivation behind seeking a new challenge…

What are the reasons for wanting to leave an employer after 6 months? What about a candidate that has been with an employer for 16 years? Which one is more likely to see the move through?

It is important to get ‘under the skin’ of an individual, and pinpoint exactly what the driving forces are. Granted, you are not always going to get the truth – but showing ‘genuine interest’ in the personal well-being of your candidate can enable you to get more information than you otherwise would.

If the reason for leaving is purely about ‘1 thing’ – like money; then beware of the ‘counter offer’ (or the leveraging for one).

If there are ‘multiple’ reasons, such as money, commute, change of line manager, potential redundancy – then you can have more faith in an offer being accepted and honoured.

If you have contacted someone who was not ‘actively looking’ it is even more important to ‘take your time’ and remind yourself that the first call was made by you, and a lot of work lies ahead.


How much information are you sharing/presenting your candidate with, before the interview, after the interview and the lead time up to a ‘decision’ from the employer?

The amount of times that you ‘touch’ your candidate during these important stages of the process will do 1 of 2 things… It’ll either develop a ‘bond’; a level of trust & respect between you and the candidate – or it’ll quickly allow you to notice the ‘cracks’ – and give you a bit of time to potentially go back to the market, in search of a ‘back up plan’.


We have witnessed many recruiters freeze with fear when the time comes to ‘pop the question’… But sometimes being ‘direct’ is the best way to cut out all of the noise. Ask your candidate, whether or not they are willing to accept the offer on the table, and if the answer is ‘yes’ – take them through the ‘counter offer assault course’, and remind them of all the reasons why they applied in the first place.

Even better would be to ask the ‘what if’ question – directly after the interview – before an offer has even been made… This is a great opportunity to ‘assess the mood’ of things.


–         Did you ‘head hunt’ your candidate, or did they ‘apply’ for the role?

–         Does your candidate have more than 1 reason for considering a move?

–         When you confirmed an interview request, was your candidate happy or nonchalant?

–         How many other interviews does your candidate have?

–         After the interview, did your candidate call you back with a detailed synopsis &/or chase feedback?

–         Are there any other offers on the table from other employers?

–         Would your candidate need to relocate in order to take up an offer?


Let’s continue to respect the process; respect the candidate & respect the fact that they are also ‘human’ with lots of human concerns, personal issues, flaws, shortcomings, conflicts & motivations.

We’ll win some, and we’ll lose some. It’s essentially about how we respond & improve.

When we treat our candidates (& clients) like ‘real people’ rather than ‘transactions’, we take great strides in continuing to ‘add value’ to the industry.

Jonothan Bosworth Recruitment Specialists offer Executive Search, Permanent Resource, Contract Resource and Ad-Hoc Solutions.

If you are a client in search of a new recruitment partner, or a candidate looking for your next challenge, please email us on; or call us on; 0845 299 639

CATEGORIES: Blog, News and Updates

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