It is not an inevitable fact that many of the job offers that you extend will be turned down. If your organization takes the time to determine why offers are being rejected, you can take proactive steps to reduce the chances of it happening in the future. This necessary HR duty is vital, as a rejected offer for a key position could cost thousands of dollars in wasted time and expenses.
The best thing to remember when crafting a job offer is that it requires research and data collection. This goes well beyond improving the actual letter offer, and requires that you look at the interview and selection process in detail to determine its overall success. It is also wise to look at this process as a sale of your organization. You are essentially trying to make an offer by selling the company to a potential employee and then hoping to close the deal with an acceptance. As in sales, this process requires focused goals.
Why are offers rejected?
One of the key factors in preventing a job offer rejection is to determine why they are turned down in the first place. In order to do so, consider the following actions:
- Survey new hires to determine why they accepted your offer. On their first day on the job, ask them what elements of the offer were most compelling in their decision, had no impact or almost caused them to reject the offer. Then, use this information to modify your offers in the future to fit potential employees’ needs and expectations.
- Talk to applicants and new hires about your recruitment process. This is the only aspect of the company that an applicant is exposed to, so he or she may evaluate the company overall based on perceptions of the recruiter or recruiting process.
- Obtain offer letters from new hires who accepted your offer. With a little incentive, your new hires may give you offer letters from other organizations that they received. Then, you can compare your company benefits and incentives with that of other organizations.
- Examine your job offer letter itself. Is it effective in describing the job and painting the company in a positive light, including all perks, benefits and incentives available to employees?
- Send out post-reject surveys to applicants who declined a job offer. Most candidates will probably cite salary for why initially they rejected your offer; however, this may not truly be the case. Approximately three to six months after they have rejected your offer, send out a survey questioning why they turned your organization down. You should receive more truthful answers at this point.If you are using a search firm to assist in filling positions at your organization, contact that company to uncover the reason why your offer was rejected.Conduct focus groups at industry trade shows to identify why most individuals in your field accept and reject offers.
Seal the Deal
There are many things that factor into an applicant’s decision to accept or reject an offer. One important one is their perception of their direct supervisor and the relationship that he or she will have with this person. Most applicants are concerned with open communication, growth and learning opportunities, flexibility, control of what they work on, control of who they work with and when their work must take place. It is always beneficial for the direct supervisor to be one of the people who interviews a candidate, to allow both parties to evaluate the potential relationship. Also be sure to tell applicants what they can expect on a daily basis regarding their relationship with their manager and their role in a team or department.
In addition, the timing of your offer can make a big difference. For instance, if a candidate receives an offer from another company, you need to make your offer sooner to have a chance to compete. However, if you have recruited an individual who wasn’t actively job searching, it may be more effective to move slowly to allow the person to consider the change and get comfortable with the idea of a new job.
In addition, consider asking candidates the following questions to cater a job offer to their wants and needs:
- What elements of a profession do you want more or less of in your next job?
- Describe your dream job in terms of location, your co-workers, the projects you work on, your work environment and your manager. In essence, write your own job offer.
- What is your worst case scenario job situation and why? What factors contribute to it being a situation that you want to avoid?
Though these suggestions are not fool-proof, they will help you limit the number of job offer rejections that come through your door. By gathering information and evaluating your current processes, you can improve your recruiting success and avoid rejected job offers.