If your job offer acceptance rate isn’t above 90% then it’s a clear signal that you need to improve your recruitment process so that when you make a job offer candidates can’t wait to accept it.

Any friction in the job offer process could quickly see your perfect candidate snatched up by a competitor, accept an employer “buy-back” offer, withdraw an acceptance or just lose interest in your company.

Top tips for making a job offer that’s “on the money” every time

Stay competitive with salary and benefits benchmarking

Before writing the job advert, you should have undertaken salary and benefits benchmarking. Yes, sometimes candidates will move for less pay if the benefits or perks are right e.g. flexible working. However, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies to careers too. Appealing to someone’s emotional career needs (their sense of purpose) is the best way to differentiate yourself when trying to hire the best candidates. However, you can’t get there without the right foundational building blocks of salary and benefits.

Not sure what the market rate is for your role?

Check out our Salary and Benefits Guide 2019 to see the average salaries and desired benefits right now across Supply Chain, Procurement, Logistics, Buying & Merchandising

Do some digging to sell-in the role effectively

The interview process should help you both decide if there’s a good match from both a skills and cultural perspective. Yet not every hiring manager is good at selling in the role or job offer, even if the role is a perfect fit for the candidate.

With a little digging, you can discover clues as to what aspects of your benefits, perks and culture are worth emphasising throughout the interviewing process e.g. opportunities to travel, flexible working, upcoming projects or your intensive training and mentoring programme.

(If you’re not sure what, besides salary and the usual benefits, you can offer to stand out in the recruitment process, check out our blog: 7 steps to creating an irresistible Employer Value Proposition).

Check out the candidate’s social media profiles and even use any personality profiling you may have undertaken in the process. It not only helps you determine if someone is right for the role, but can be useful in knowing how to communicate effectively and understand what their true motivations are. (Another great tool is Crystal Knows – their AI-based chrome extension provides personality predictions based on LinkedIn profiles).

Or simply ask them what excites them about the role during the process and try to dig a little deeper!

Be transparent with salary expectations

A competitive salary will vary between candidates to candidates and not just because of their experience. Some candidates will adjust their salary expectations based on the role’s responsibilities, location and pressures or targets.

Make sure that candidates are vetted at the outset for their salary expectations for this role. That way, when you do come to make an offer nothing will come as an unwelcome shock to the candidate.

Make a job offer within 24-28 hours

Timing is often crucial to capturing top candidates, so don’t run the risk of losing them with a drawn-out recruitment process. Offers should ideally be made within 24 hours (or 48 hours maximum), so make sure you’ve allocated time in every decision maker’s diary to review the applicants as soon as the process is over.

Tread carefully with job offer negotiations

In this candidate-led market, we often advise our clients to make their best offer for candidates they really want. You could leave a little room for negotiation but if the offer is out of the candidate’s salary expectations (or only just meets their ‘bottom-line’ figure) then you run the real risk of losing them to a competitor.

Be prepared for the candidate’s employer to make a “buy-back” counter-offer

In our experience, around a third of candidates that reject a job offer do so because they accept a counter-offer from their existing employer. In fact, a study shows that in 2018, 58% of 5,500 employees surveyed made a counter-offer to retain employees who had resigned (see HR Dive).

By the time you’re making a job offer, the chance of a candidate accepting a counter-offer shouldn’t really be on the table. We always screen candidates carefully to uncover their real motivations for leaving and look for clues they may be willing to stay in their current role if the money is right – something you should also do.

If you do find yourself facing this situation, you should emphasise the experiential and emotional needs the role would meet (and why staying rarely solves the other problems in the candidate’s existing role). Obviously, this needs to be done tactfully!

With a little more planning you can join the employers who achieve 95-99% job offer acceptance rates. Sometimes you need to address one of the biggest issues facing many employers: your recruitment process is too slow.

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