By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Candidates are a mysterious breed. We work hard to understand what makes them tick, to get under the hood and understand their interests, goals and intentions. Recruiters everywhere struggle with this, working hard make sure that a candidate is right for a job and that the job is right for the candidate, but sometimes we fall short. Even in my own career, I’ve experienced job acceptance regret a time or two. Whether it be because you’re sold something the company didn’t actually have to offer, because you overlooked red flags or unforeseen circumstances came up after accepting the position, we’ve probably all been there. For both sides, it’s a lose-lose situation.
Job acceptance regret occurs when your new hire realizes that the job wasn’t what they thought it would be, and it typically happens within the first three months of being hired. However, the recruiter or hiring manager may not be privy to this fact until they see active disengagement from the employee. By then, the employee has either ceased being productive and is looking for another job, if they haven’t already taken one. This is one of the biggest drains on recruiting resources and time, so minimizing its occurrence makes business sense.
Use these four strategies to limit buyer’s remorse:
Build a talent community
A talent community allows you to engage with candidates and build a relationship and rapport over a time rather than hiring immediately. It’s the difference between an arranged marriage and dating someone and letting in happen naturally. Ideally, the candidate you hire will have been on your radar for some time and you both will have had a chance to get to know one another.
Be honest about challenges and opportunities
Even for those of us who like surprises, no one wants a new job to be one of them. Be upfront and honest about what kind of challenges and opportunities someone in that position will face and let the candidate determine if it’s something they can handle. Believe it or not, a challenging position won’t send every candidate packing. In fact, some will see those challenges as opportunities. Either way, you don’t want someone who isn’t prepared to tackle what comes with the job, so there’s no point in hiding it.
Don’t sell waterfront property in Arizona
Job postings aren’t the only place recruiters have the tendency to oversell. Emails, offer letters, phone calls and interviews are fair game for exaggerating and covering up too, so be careful to always be honest about the position and your company. This is one of the most significant opportunities you have to prevent job acceptance regret. When they get to Arizona, they’re quickly going to see that there’s no waterfront property.
Create onboarding and engagement processes
Don’t forget that new employees are still shaping their opinions of the organization after they’ve accepted a position and even after they’ve started. Help them engage and connect in their new position by creating onboarding and engagement processes that span the first six to 12 months of their time with the company to reduce turnover and improve productivity.


Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.


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