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The menace of offer drops and how People Ops teams can tackle it

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Ever wandered into an electronics store, paid for the first laptop you saw and then left with it?

Not unless it’s a repeat purchase or something you’ve been eyeing for a while and had done enough research on already. 

We compare brands, price points and features. We read reviews. We get our queries answered by the sales representative. And we take feedback from friends or family who are already using that laptop.

As consumers, we have a gazillion choices. Endless features. Numerous brands. Varying price points. There is so much to consider before choosing the best fit!

And to be the consumer’s preferred choice, brands give it their all - from the best products to the best service and experiences.

Interestingly, the current trend in the job market isn’t too different.

Employees are actively seeking organizations that best suit them from a plethora of available options. And given the ongoing talent shortage, some people even end up holding more than one job offer, one of which could even be yours.

Now, we could forever debate if it is ethical for people to be holding down more than one job offer. We could also wait for the market situation to change in favor of organizations. But neither of these will solve the problem at this moment. 

What can solve it though is treating your new hires the way you would a consumer. Give them experiences that’ll differentiate you as a company and put you ahead of the rest in the job market.


These ten simple tweaks or fixes to your existing processes can make all the difference.

1. Don’t wait for Day 1 to start onboarding 

If this is something you do, it is time to reconsider.

The period between the day a candidate accepts the job offer and the day they join the company can get pretty uncomfortable and awkwardly silent for the new hire. Often, this can be as long as 2-3 months and that is enough time for another company to whisk away your new hire with a better offer; unless, of course, you’re continuously engaging with them from the day of offer acceptance. And we don’t just mean the compliance and paperwork part of it but also the experiential aspects of onboarding. This could include meeting their respective teams virtually, getting information about the organization (not as a document dump but in more engaging formats), receiving a welcome kit, a video message from the CEO, and so on.

How comfortable you make the new hire from the time of their job acceptance goes a long way in helping them choose to turn up on Day 1, or not.

2. Be (very) responsive

We kid you not, but a lot - and we mean a lot - of new hire requests, questions and doubts go unanswered before Day 1. That kind of poor experience can leave them feeling unsteady and unsure, to the extent they may question whether their decision to join your company was the right one.

Responsiveness is a largely underrated aspect in a new hire's experience that can build their confidence and trust in the organization and thereby, reduce chances of dropout.

Between offer acceptance and Day 1, it would be a great idea to give your new hire’s an easy, two-way channel to raise their queries with the People Ops teams, their managers or buddies. And it’s also important that these questions are answered on time and in a satisfactory way. In addition, you could curate an FAQ with all the questions you’ve heard from new hires to date and share it with every new hire. By being proactive and preempting any doubts, you show your new hire that you truly care about helping them fit in.

3. Give new hires a clear roadmap

Certainty is comforting. For a new hire leaving the familiar environments of their previous workplace to join a new one, the transition will be peppered with a lot of uncertainty. Reducing this uncertainty can build their faith in your organization. A great way to do this is by providing them with a clear roadmap of what to expect in the first 6-12 months of their job. 

Many new hires don’t know what to ask, while there are some who will have too many questions. We’d recommend getting as detailed as possible with this roadmap, but also laying it out in a systematic and periodic manner. Split it up by pre-boarding activities, Day 1 activities, Week 1 expectations, working up towards your 30-60-90 day plan.

Plus, leave no room for unpleasant surprises. Just go on and also give them full clarity about their role, team, KPIs, tools, salary breakup, right down to the t.

4. Share testimonials from peers

Relatability breeds a sense of belonging – it is just how human psychology works. The more a new hire sees and hears stories of people in your organization who are just like them, the more likely they are to feel that they fit into your company and the higher their chances of turning up on Day 1.

Share stories, videos and testimonials from peers. A peer could be someone working the same role or level as the new hire. For a new hire who is a woman, it could be another woman employee. For a parent, it could be other working parents at your organization.

You could also go one step further and connect the new hire directly to relatable peers. That way they can have real conversations with them and see for themselves the lives, careers and experiences of current employees who are walking in the same shoes as them.

5. Show them their career and growth possibilities

Again, humans naturally drift to places of certainty. If your new hire is unsure about their opportunities within your organization, the chances are they’ll drop you for a company that offers them that certainty.

A clear view of one’s career and growth possibilities within your organization is a great way to get your new hire excited about what’s in store for them. And not a generalized career scope, but a personalized one that is in alignment with the new hire’s career aspirations. 

For instance, a new hire with a keen interest in AI can be shown the different lateral and vertical career trajectories they can explore within the organization that suits their interest in AI. Show them what these career trajectories can mean for their growth, what it will take to make these movements and how the organization will facilitate these career journeys.

Also, got a relatable story to share from a current employee who made such a transition? Don’t forget to share that too!

6. Match your employer branding to your employee experience

Organizations are extensively branding themselves as great employers to work for to attract good talent. From attractive perks to flexible work hours and funky office spaces, companies are flaunting their tangible and intangible benefits to get more resumes flowing in.

But when your branding doesn’t match the actual experience and your workplace culture, disappointment sets in, followed by frustration, a lack of trust and eventual offer drop or worse, attrition within 2-3 months.

At your organization, it is possible that employer branding is managed by a different team than yours. But to bridge the branding versus employee experience gap, it is important for you to work closely with the employer branding team to create the much-needed alignment. This ensures what you sell is what you really have to offer your new hires

Table Tennis tables look great, but if nobody gets the time to use it, it’s just an eyewash.

READ MORE: Why Employee Experience is the cornerstone of effective employer branding?

7. Show interest in the whole person

We are not just ‘Matt, an excellent data scientist with 10 years of experience’ or ‘Kate, an automotive engineer who has worked with BMW, Volkswagen and more’. We are also, ‘Matt, a loving father to two sons’, ‘Kate, a cyclist and professional skier’ and so much more!

Employees value their personal lives and relationships as much as their professional endeavors, if not more. Acknowledging their personal lives along with their professional skills will show the new hire that you genuinely care about them.

One of our customers sends out personalized letters to their new hire’s parents for playing an instrumental role in their education and upbringing. Yet another company makes it a point to wish the new hire on their birthday even if it falls before their joining day. Small acts, yes. But acts that will matter to that person the most. Breaking out of cookie-cutter experiences and creating custom, persona-based experiences is the way to go to ensure a healthy rapport from the start.

8. Boost your employee referral program

Employee referrals are the highest quality hires in any organization. The cost of hiring through referrals is comparatively low. Plus, referred employees also tend to show a greater commitment to the company than other hires. 

If you don’t have a great referral program in place, this could be the time to double down on one. And if you have one but it has plateaued (which often happens with referral programs), revisit the incentives, add some excitement to it and bring it back to life. 

9. Connect new hires to the team early on & early enough

Enabling the new hire to break the ice with their team before the day of joining can be a huge plus. Humans are social animals and the relationship we form with our colleagues can greatly influence our decision to stay with an organization, even for a new hire.

A team lunch before Day 1. A buddy who is always reachable for queries. A People Ops leader who constantly checks in. A manager who is enabling the new hire with the right resources and tools. A catch-up with colleagues. Interaction with peers. 

Add this and more to the new hires' preboarding program.

10. Finally, seek genuine feedback

When an offer drop happens, it can be very, very frustrating for you. Add to it the fact that a lot of candidates may simply ghost you after that or give you the flimsiest reason for not turning up on Day 1. We get it! But to improve the new hire’s experience and reduce offer drops, you have to get past this frustration and connect with as many dropped out candidates as possible to get genuine feedback.

Get candid and ask them the right questions. Here are some examples that could help.

  1. What could we have done differently to retain you?
  2. Would you consider our company in the future?
  3. Is there anything we could still do to retain you?
  4. If you’ve accepted another offer, what about it was more attractive to you?

Be open to getting uncomfortable with their responses. Only then can you get to some interesting and revealing answers. Else, use a tool to maintain anonymity and remove bias in the interaction, whichever works best for you.

The offer drop menace: will it end soon?

Sadly, there are no definitive numbers or trend reports that tell us how long the offer drop menace may continue. But a lot of experts and recruiting companies predict that this pattern will be around for a while. Especially among the top talent and in competitive industries, people are expected to shop around for a great opportunity. As a result, they may hold down more than one job offer. Of course, this is a big nightmare for People Ops teams but the best of them are already at work building better engagement and delivering out-of-the-box experiences to their new hires.

Are you one of them? If you’ve got some interesting ways in which you are tackling offer drops that are not mentioned in our list, tell us about it at media@tydy.it.

Need help with creating persona-based journeys before and after Day 1? Book a one-on-one demo of Tydy.

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