After investing time and effort, you finally found “the one.” The perfect person for the job.
Then things take a surprising turn when your candidate declines your offer – prompting flashbacks to when your high school crush turned down your invitation to the prom.
The race for talent is on. In today’s candidate-driven market, competition is fierce and hiring managers are seeing more rejected job offers than previous years. Why? Below are the most common reasons, along with tips to improve your offer acceptance rate.
Unhappy with compensation and/or benefits
Candidates are more informed about today’s market rates and have expectations for what they should be paid. If your offers don’t meet their requirements, they’ll turn you down.
TIP: Manage expectations upfront with open and honest communication. Include a salary range and an overview of your benefits package within job postings. Include other benefits, such as stock options or generous PTO programs, to illustrate the total value of your compensation package.
Another job offer came in
The most common reason that candidates turn down jobs is that they receive other offers. And the reason that they receive multiple job offers is usually due to slow hiring processes. While candidates wait for you, they look into other options and lose interest in your company.
TIP: To remedy the situation, review your hiring process to make sure that it’s aggressive. Candidates will not always suspend their job search for you. It’s also important to be upfront about your timeline. According to CareerBuilder, 58% of employers don’t communicate how long the interview process will take. You need to set expectations.
A counter-offer came in
Many times you’re not only competing with offers from other companies, but with counter-offers from the candidates’ current employers. When employees feel unappreciated or “stuck,” they will often apply for a new job in order to gain leverage. Be prepared to offer salary and benefits packages that current employers are not likely to beat.
TIP: There isn’t much you can do to prevent counter-offers, but you can help prevent your current team from looking elsewhere. Make sure your employees feel valued. Give employees a sense of control by discussing their career paths and allowing them to know what to expect in the years to come.
You have negative online reviews
Job seekers can readily access information about your company on Glassdoor, Indeed, and other employer review sites, and many candidates refuse to work for an employer with negative reviews.
TIP: Work to improve your employer brand and increase your company’s visibility to candidates by:
- Making sure employees know that they can safely share their concerns with you in person rather than online
- Reading online reviews and using this information to improve your company
- Monitoring and responding to positive and negative comments
- Encouraging your employees to leave a review
The location is undesirable
This one can be tricky. Even if you include your office location on the job posting, candidates may be willing to make the commute... until they make the drive to the interview in the thick of rush hour.
TIP: While this scenario can’t always be avoided, it’s important to include the location on the job posting – the full address, not just the city. If you offer flexible work options, such as working from home a few days per week or variable work hours, communicate these in the job posting and during the interview. This may make a longer commute more appealing.
Rejected job offers are inevitable, yet there are a number of things you can do to increase your success rate. When an offer is declined, ask for a reason why. It’s important to understand how you can improve. Also consider partnering with a staffing agency to help manage the hiring process. You’ll only top candidates, which enables you to expedite your hiring timeline and, as a result, get more accepted offers from top candidates.