Don’t Blow the Job Offer Due to a Lack of Communication

By MEREDITH LOVE on MAY 6, 2015

The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate. – Joseph Priestley


I’ve been in the recruiting business a long time. I’ve celebrated with candidates who got their dream job, and I’ve felt a candidate’s frustration when the offer he hoped for didn’t come. What made the difference between the two? Through the years, I have come to realize it’s often communication.

Communication is something we do every day. Communication is important in your personal life and is absolutely vital to your career. When you are interviewing, a failure to communicate is a fatal error. I have seen many candidates lose out because they failed to keep the lines of communication open during the hiring process.

You may be a star in your field. Perhaps you are absolute top talent and make millions of dollars for your current organization. But if you can’t get this across during the interview process, you’re not going to get the offer. And if you don’t continue to communicate after the offer is made—it could be rescinded!

Don’t blow the job offer due to a lack of communication! Here’s some communication hints for different stages in the recruitment process.

Pre-Offer

Pre-Job Offer

As your recruiter, I do a lot of work to get you to this stage. I review your resume, check your references, and talk to you about your current position and what you want out of your next job. I use a career directed approach to match you with a company who needs your skills. Then I introduce you to my client company by sending your resume and discussing with the hiring manager the unique skills you bring. I point out why you are just the right fit for his company.

The company will then invite you to interview. Bring copies of your resume and be sure that your resume is top-notch. Make a list of points that aren’t detailed on your resume. You want to volunteer information about all of your accomplishments. Communication really is key here. Don’t assume the company read it on your resume. Speak up!

Representatives may give you a tour of the building and introduce you to the team. Continue to communicate both verbally and with appropriate body language. Smile. Shake hands. Ask questions. Look people in the eye and listen to their answers. Let your personality shine through.

Before a formal offer is made, many times the company will begin to feel you out to see what it would take to bring you onboard. Remember this is “pre-negotiation” and no formal offer is on the table. Nevertheless, you should handle it just like a real negotiation. If you are interested don’t blow the job offer due to a lack of communication. Let the employer know! Try something like, “I’m excited about the opportunity to join your team but compensation is only one factor in the overall assessment. I’m looking for an opportunity for personal and career growth. If I’m the person you want to hire, I am sure you’ll make an offer that I’d be compelled to accept.”

Offer

Don't Blow The Job Offer

Most companies will make an official verbal offer and later confirm the acceptance in an offer letter with the details. Some companies will actually send a written contract. Don’t turn in a resignation until you have an official letter on letterhead or an official email with your new job title, salary, location and start date specified.

This is the time to negotiate. Sometimes little things mean a lot to you. Be sure you have a list of what you expect and ask the company to put that into your contract. Don’t assume you will get a company car and stock options. Ask the organization to specify the details in your contract.

I once had an executive who got a verbal offer, but requested that the company delay his start date so he could talk his family into the move. Then he disappeared. There were no phone calls to inform the company of his expected start date, nor emails to update the company on his progress.

This raised a lot of red flags. The business became concerned that his failure to communicate might be a part of his management style. They also worried that the candidate’s family might be unhappy with the potential move.

The company began to wonder if it had made a mistake in offering him the job. Take this as a warning. A verbal offer can be rescinded! Don’t blow the job offer due to a lack of communication! Be sure to keep your new employer “in the loop” so you’re not sending the wrong signals.

Post Offer

Post Job Offer

Companies expect continued communication even after the offer is accepted and the contract is signed. Leaving a job is hard and candidates do have second thoughts. This may be due to a hesitancy to relocate and leave friends. Or, it could be that you are considering a competing offer.

Play it straight. Don’t blow the job offer due to a lack of communication with the company. If you are having second thoughts discuss these with your recruiter or with the new company. If you have another offer, give the new company a chance to match it. One word of caution. Never bluff about a competing offer. Remember your new employer also interviewed other candidates. If the selection was close, the company might release you and decide to pursue the runner-up.

Make sure to talk to your family and determine whether or not you have any vacations, weddings, bar mitzvahs and family reunions already planned in the first year of your new job. It is always better to mention and schedule planned vacation days during the courting period, rather than later as a new employee.

After your agreement letter or contract is signed, be sure to return it promptly. Keep your new company updated on your progress. Let them know your moving plans and see if the company has a coordinator who could assist with the stress of relocation. And, above all, continue to signal that you are looking forward to this new opportunity.

Beyond

Beyond Job Offer

I am a proponent of early onboarding Contact your new company and ask if there is a task you could work on remotely. For example, the company might send you blueprints and plans for current and future projects. You could be mulling over needed changes. Ask for organizational charts and other items that you will need to make informed decisions. It would also be useful to have a directory so that you can send an introductory email to staff and colleagues.

Early onboarding lets you begin to feel a part of your new company while you still have a foot in the old one. Your first day will be less stressful if you have introduced yourself and built relationships there ahead of time. The new organization will likely be thrilled that you have this proactive approach.

If a relocation is involved, don’t forget the stress this places on your spouse and family. Look for ways to ease their transition as well. Since you have contacts with your new company, ask if the company could provide someone who could answer questions about the new area and provide some advice to your spouse. It also helps minimize stress if children have contacts they can email and Facebook with. See if another executive has children the same age as yours who could offer some insights about school, sports, and other interests. Don’t blow the job offer due to a lack of communication with your family.

Continue the Dialog

Continue the Dialog

Communication is vital in the hiring process. From pre-offer to offer, then from post-offer and beyond, it is necessary to communicate your wants and needs. Don’t assume anything. Be sure to keep your new company apprised of your status and of any bumps you are encountering.

Most companies have an onboarding program. Companies know that starting a new job is one of life’s most stressful events. The organization will want to ease your transition. Be sure you keep the company updated on your situation.

If you fail to communicate, the company will automatically assume the worst. Don’t let this happen. If you hit a small snag or there is some unanticipated issue that complicates things, be sure to let the company know.

Don’t blow the job offer due to a lack of communication. Communicate, communicate, and communicate. I just can’t say it enough!

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Meredith Love

Meredith Love

Executive Vice President

Meredith Love began her career with Kimmel & Associates as an associate in 2002. She holds a BA degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Western Carolina University with a concentration in Organizational Behavior.

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