It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Change is difficult—for everyone. Psychologists rank "starting a new job" third, just below "death of a loved one" and "divorce" on the stress continuum. So even though you and the hiring team have agreed on a candidate, remember that the deal still faces major obstacles, and if you don't manage the emotional "care and feeding" of your candidate during the transition to your company, you could easily lose them.
We'll talk about what you can do in a moment, but let me first give you insight into what happens at the candidate's current company, once they turn in their notice. (Or maybe you already know, because you do this in your own company!)
Upon telling their supervisor that they are resigning to go to work for your company, that supervisor says something like, "Let's keep this news between you and me until we can make a formal announcement."
Accept that changing jobs is extremely stressful for your candidate.
Plan for the possibility of a counteroffer.
Keep in frequent touch with small pieces of information.
The president or the CEO personally calls to invite the resigning employee out to dinner.
At dinner, the bigwig praises the resigning employee and mentions that he or she was being seriously considered for a raise and promotion. The bigwig explains that it is really ...