It’s been a long, and at times, tiring recruiting process. You’ve put the necessary blood, sweat, and tears into finding the right candidates, interviewing them, selling the company, and negotiating the deal. Everything seems to be going smoothly as planned, until the candidate turns down the job offer. What happened?

It can be discouraging, but the truth of the matter is 35 – 50% of job offers are routinely rejected; you simply cannot win them all, and some respectful declines are to be expected. However, if you believe that your job offer rejection levels are above industry norms, you may want to re-evaluate your hiring current hiring process. Consider the following tips to help increase your company’s job offer acceptance rate.

  • Hiring process. The first step is to analyze and understand the reasons why your offers are being turned down. If more than half of your candidates are turning down your offers, it could be due to a slow or delayed hiring process. The more time the candidates have between application and job offer is also more time for them to investigate other opportunities, research salaries, and accept an offer from a competitor.  In this situation, consider implementing “power interviews” which combine the first, second, and sometimes third interview into one, alongside a tight target deadline for post-interview decision making and formalizing the final offer.
  • Salary levels. If more than 50% of your candidates are rejecting your offer due to the offered salary being too low, you may not be taking enough into consideration. You’ll need to account for your geographic location, your sector, demand, and time of year. If these accounts do not match market research for the salary you’re offering, you may need to rethink your budget.
  • Next in line. Try to always have a second and third choice candidate so you have a candidate to fall back on in the event that your top choice refuses your offer.  You’ll need to carefully foster your relationship with your second and third choice candidates so they will be ready to accept an offer if your first choice declines. Also, ensure that your second and third choice candidates are up to date on the job status and know when they should expect to hear back about the position. Although they may not be your top choice, your second and third choice candidates should still feel important.
  • Contact days. The period between accepting a new job offer and resigning from a current position can be a trying time for candidates. If someone is going to experience a change of heart or accept a counter offer, this is the time it is most likely to occur. Consider arranging fun, contact days or evenings during this time, such as attending a company social, a group event, or semi-formal meeting. This will ease your candidates into their new environment and help them begin to feel like a part of the team.
  • Resignation advice. The thought of resigning from their current position can be daunting to candidates. Additionally, if the candidate shows indecision when giving their notice, it can make them susceptible to a counteroffer from their existing employer. If you know the candidate will be leaving another company to work for you, offer them how-to advice for resigning professionally and, if necessary, offer coaching.

It may not always be in your control whether a candidate will accept your job offer or not; some rejections are normal and should be expected. However, following these guidelines can help remove some of the common barriers that prevent potential employees from accepting job offers. If you are looking for assistance hiring top job candidates, contact Staffers, Inc. today!

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