Fighting Fall-Offs: The ABCs of Taking Candidates from Offer to Onboarding

In the recruiting world, nobody likes fall-offs. What is a fall-off? Glad you asked. A fall-off is when a candidate who has received an offer either changes their mind or quits within a short time after they start. For recruiters and hiring managers, fall-offs are a big deal. For the recruiter, fall-offs affect their pay. For the hiring manager, fall-offs mean that they must start the search over.

So, what do we do? How do we reduce the chance of a fall-off?

There’s no way to completely eliminate fall-offs, but the ABCs of successfully taking candidates from offer to onboarding can improve your success rate.

Assure Sincerity

 ‚ÄúSincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.‚Äù ‚Äì Charles Spurgeon

We must make sure the candidate is serious about the opportunity before it’s too late. In the heat of an interview, a candidate may say they are excited about the job, even though they have misgivings. Or the candidate may be trying to get a counter-offer from their current employer. Whatever their motivation, we must get it on the table to discuss it. These discussions are best held early in the process when the candidate is most rational. The closer we get to an offer; the less rational the candidates.

How do we spot a candidate who is less than sincere? Look for low enthusiasm, no questions, a lack of preparation for interviews, and slow or no responses to your communications. All of these could indicate the candidate is not sincere in their desire to make the career change.

Build Trust

 ‚ÄúTrust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.‚Äù ‚Äì Bob Vanourek

How do we build trust? Make sure the candidate fits the job and is not just someone we send to meet our numbers. Dig deep to assure a good fit for both the candidate and the organization. Ask for the pain points to determine why the candidate might want to leave their current role. Dig for what’s important to the candidate – whether it is money, commute, benefits, catered lunch, or something else.

Having said that, the biggest way to build trust is to maintain communications with the candidate. Don’t leave them hanging wondering what’s going on. Don’t have any new news? Pick up the phone and tell them that. You have to keep them warm while you both wait for updates.

Create a Great Candidate Experience!

 ‚ÄúThe customer experience is the next competitive battleground.‚Äù ‚Äì Jerry Gregoire

In the quote from Jerry Gregoire, substitute the word “candidate” for “customer.” In today’s competitive employment environment, the company that creates a great candidate experience will win most of the time.

How do we create a great candidate experience? Once you make sure you are communicating with the candidate, evaluate your hiring process. Remember, the candidate is talking with other recruiters and continuing their job search. If the hiring process is too long, they will accept another job. We must streamline and speed up the process. Remove people from the interview process that don’t need to be there. Shorten the application process. Send them a recruitment marketing video or two to get them pumped about the team.

Fall-offs will happen. Our job is to reduce them as much as possible. Follow the ABCs and fall-offs will begin to fall off your issues list.


My name is Mark Morris and I am a Recruiting Coach for Kinetix. My passion is helping connect exceptional people to great organizations… and Starbucks – I love a good herbal tea. Kinetix specializes in Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Staffing & Recruiting, and HR Consulting for growth companies. I am always open for conversation because I enjoy learning new things, helping others understand difficult issues, and I just like meeting new people. Hit me up via email at if you want to talk.

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