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Feeling the sting of rejection? How to convert more offers into offer accepts

By Beth Wingad

You’re thrilled. You’ve found the perfect candidate for your team, you’ve offered them the job and they’ve… declined it. And there it is again, that sting of rejection that hiring managers are all too familiar with. There are some things you can do to reduce the chances of ending up in this position, though.  Here’s five things that could help you get your preferred candidate over the line and get that offer accept.

Make your interview process out of this world

Wave goodbye to sub-par hiring processes with multiple, rigid stages. Say ‘see you later!’ to having to wait for multiple stakeholders to review. One of the simplest ways to lose out on a great hire is to have a hiring process that they perceive to be full of barriers. Slow recruitment processes can lead to candidates feeling disengaged, so is something you should try to avoid where possible. In our experience, companies who are willing and able to be more flexible during interview processes see more success when it comes to ultimately securing candidates.

This one is particularly important in a candidate-driven market like the one we’re experiencing right now. Candidates can often be in multiple hiring processes at a time so making yours a seamless experience can make you stand out from other companies and prevent your number one candidate from taking an offer elsewhere.

Sell the opportunity from the get-go

This might sound obvious, but the interview process is your opportunity to really sell the role and the business to the people you’re interviewing. Ensuring you’re crystal clear on growth and development opportunities, the kind of culture you promote, any flexibility you offer, and more helps to position your role not only as a better option than other roles your preferred candidate might be interviewing for, but also the role they’re currently in.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

A lack of communication between interview and offer stages can leave candidates feeling frustrated. This is the critical period where you need your top candidate to feel engaged with the process, even if you’re not quite ready to make an offer or you have a few hoops to jump through to get the offer sent out. Setting out intentions to offer and providing timely positive feedback can help to secure your chosen candidate’s interest and set them up to ultimately accept your job offer.

Don’t fear the counter-offer

Let’s face it, candidates are being counter-offered at an all-time high at the moment. Companies are as keen to keep their top talent as much as you’re keen to add it to your team. So what can you do to stop them taking that counter and rejecting your offer? Well it starts at the very beginning of the process. All too often we see companies only focusing on the monetary side of things. Yes, counter-offers can be a real headache, but there are things you can do throughout the entire process to reduce their sting.

Realistically counters have the most impact when the candidate is already a bit uncertain about the move they’re thinking of making. So anything you can do to reduce this uncertainty in turn reduces the chance of an effective counter. Show that the grass can in fact be greener on the other side!

It’s not all about the money, but it is a little bit

It’s not all about the money, hence why we’ve left it til the end. But whilst it’s not the be all and end all of a recruitment process, fundamentally people care about their salary and benefits and want to be paid what they believe they deserve. The obvious advice here is to not low-ball your candidates, but we think that goes without saying. Instead consider the wider remuneration package you’re offering and think about if there’s anything else in there where you’re falling short or could offer something extra. Maybe you could offer a ‘golden hello’? What about flexible working incentives? Can they have a cool new EV as their company car? Anything that breaks the mould of a ‘typical’ offer can help to boost your offering and get your top candidate over the line.

Ultimately we’re dealing with humans, so sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an offer being rejected. But, by being proactive and putting some of these tips in practice you can hopefully reduce your chances of experiencing that rejection sting, get that offer accept and secure your top candidate.