Have you ever spent a lot of precious time carefully crafting a job advertisement, reviewing tons of resumes, and interviewing applicants, only to have the candidate you finally pick reject your job offer?
The hiring process, from beginning to end, is incredibly time consuming. It’s frustrating and costly for employers to be rejected after spend weeks trying to find the right person for their jobs.
We’ve put together a great overview of why candidates pass on job offers, and the steps you can take to prevent this from happening!
Some statistics about rejected job offers:
A recent CareerBuilder survey provides insight into why some job offers are rejected.
- 39% were because the candidates received another offer
- 29% were because compensation and benefits did not meet the candidates’ expectations
- 10% were due to a counteroffer from their current employer.
A survey from Indeed shows that:
- 44% of jobs in the U.S. are filled within the first 30 days, meaning that 56% are not
- If a job is not filled within the first 30 days, there is a 57% chance the job will remain unfilled for three months or more!
Imagine the hit a business takes to its productivity, staff morale, quality of work, and bottom line when this occurs. Indeed’s survey shines a spotlight on how important it is to avoid a rejected job offer when the right candidate is identified.
Prepare well for the hiring process before you start:
If you want your job offers to be accepted, you need to start off on the right foot.
- Develop a clear and complete job description and set of requirements
- Identify the salary range, benefits and perks you are able to offer
- Know the timeline for hiring, who will be involved, and the details of the process from beginning to end
Don’t start advertising the position until you are ready to move forward full speed ahead on the hiring process.
Streamline your hiring process & don’t dawdle:
It’s a candidates market right now. Just as home sellers are receiving multiple offers, so are job seekers. When the candidates start applying and you see a standout, don’t wait for two or three more before you jump.
The days where you could choose from three to five perfect candidates are gone, at least for now. If you ask candidates to jump through too many hoops, they may move on to another employer who is hoop-free.
Be realistic with the candidates about your compensation package from the beginning:
Talk candidly with them about what they are looking for, and what your company has to offer. Salary is important to everyone, but there are other factors that are important as well.
In a recent Careerbuilder survey, after salary, these are the most important things to job seekers, in descending order:
- Job stability
- Affordable benefits
- Job location
- Good boss
- Good work culture
Sell what you have, but never oversell it. We’ve seen many situations wherein a company states a salary range in order to entice candidates, then makes a low offer that’s outside that range — only to lose a great (and now disappointed) candidate.
Listen more than you talk:
Ask good questions about what the candidate is seeking in a position, and be honest about how that plays into what you have to offer. If the ability to climb the ladder is high on their list, and your ladder doesn’t have many rungs, this is probably not the ideal candidate for your business. If work/life balance is important, and you offer telecommuting and flexible schedules, then it may be a great fit.
Find out if you have competition:
If you’re interested in a candidate, ask where they are in their job hunt. Have they had interviews? Do they have offers on the table? Will they let you know if they get any? If this person is a good possibility for you, there’s no reason for you to hide some of your interest.
Treat the candidate like an individual:
Our hours are 8am – 5pm, but my Director of Operations wants to run for two hours every day. Because I agreed to accommodate him by modifying and extending his work schedule, I was able to hire a highly qualified and very dedicated professional — and an extremely healthy one, at that.
Stay in touch during the hiring process:
Candidates need to know what’s going on. Let them know in the interview when they’ll hear from you and what the next steps are. Email or call every couple days.
Remember, there are likely other companies wooing this candidate at the same time. If there’s only silence on your end, the person you want to hire will probably move forward with another suitor.
What if your candidate receives a counter-offer from their current employer?
If your offer is rejected due to a counter-offer from the candidate’s current employer, you may not want to engage in a bidding war. But keep something in mind: this employee was unhappy enough to look for a new job. Once the excitement of a little more money wears off, they may very well find themselves unhappy enough to look for a new job again.
Keep in touch with them if you think they’re right for your company down the road, and in the meantime, ask if they have anyone else they can refer you to. Quality people usually have quality friends.
Hopefully, the candidate of your choice will eagerly accept your job offer the next time you have an opening. You have the power to increase those odds by detailing the job duties and requirements, setting appropriate expectations about compensation, and conducting an efficient hiring process from initial recruitment all the way through making an offer.
No business wants their job advertisements to languish on job boards for ninety days while job seekers mutter, “I wonder what’s wrong with that company?”