Screening, Assessment, Interviewing, Sourcing

Are Your Candidates Turning Down Job Offers?

How often have you or your hiring team put together a job offer for a well-qualified candidate only to have the offer rejected? This can be quite frustrating, and it can increase how long it takes to fill a given vacancy.

There are a few things that employers can do to minimize how often this happens. These tips generally fall into one of two categories: 1) tips on how and when to present the offer, and 2) tips on how to personalize the offer to improve the chance it will be accepted.

Tips on How and When to Present the Job Offer

There are a lot of simple things an employer can do to help ensure the job offer is accepted:

  • Frame the initial offer conversation as a discussion rather than jumping into offer details. We’ll talk about this more below, but this tactic can be used to garner more information to tailor the official offer accordingly.
  • Make the offer in a timely fashion. Keeping the applicant waiting for news is a surefire way to give him enough time to find employment somewhere else. Keep in communication and make the decision as quickly as is practical.
  • Communicate about the offer in person or over the phone so you can gauge the response. It’s also much more personal than e-mail. (Of course following up in writing is perfectly acceptable!)
  • Be clear about the pay and benefits on offer and the expectations of the role. The conversation shouldn’t end with major lingering questions about the big picture expectations. It also shouldn’t have major surprises about the expectations.
  • Give a reasonable time frame for the candidate to review the offer details before he or she responds. When making the offer, note how long the candidate has to review it, and give a reasonable time to consider (or to negotiate) the details.
  • During the offer conversation, ask directly if the individual has reservations and what they are—you may be able to address them right away or clear up any misunderstanding.

On Tuesday, we’ll take a look at some tips for personalizing the job offer to get those qualified candidates to accept your job offer.