Clients – get your skates on!


Whilst most of our insights are aimed at candidates, as we reach the end of 2021, and the shortage of good tax candidates continues, this item is firmly aimed at clients.

Over recent months we have seen a few instances, with both practice and in-house clients, where a delay in getting a formal offer out, or with candidate vetting checks has led to a keen candidate changing their mind and not following through on a verbal acceptance of a verbal offer.

For the client, to use a footballing analogy, it must feel like being 1-0 up at 90 minutes and then scoring two own goals to lose the match in extra time –  clawing a self-inflicted defeat from the jaws of victory.

Many large organisations have substantial HR teams, many with different sub-teams dealing with various aspects of the recruitment process (often with some teams based outside the UK in different time zones) and it may feel like it is inevitable that delays will occur after an offer has been made. However, that need not be the case and some of our largest global clients are amongst the sharpest and can get through the process rapidly. Those that do certainly gain a real competitive advantage in the current market.

Smaller practice clients may not have the benefit of a dedicated HR professional and much of the leg work in getting the formal offer out may fall on a partner who has a myriad of other competing responsibilities and client deadlines. However, the switched-on ones realise that having invested time in the process to get to offer stage prompt action post acceptance of the offer really helps seal the deal.

A delay after a verbal offer not only has the potential to reflect badly on the competency of the organisation itself and may well cast some doubts in the candidates’ mind but it also leaves them vulnerable to a whispering campaign / charm offensive by their current employer to persuade them to stay. It also often leaves them “dangling” emotionally and perhaps open to pro-active approaches from other recruiters for other new job opportunities.

Our advice is for the person who has taken responsibility for making the offer, to keep in regular contact with the candidate and manage their expectations re the timing of the various steps in your process whilst also making sure all your colleagues involved get their skates on !!!.