Your top choice candidates may be receiving several competing offers, as well as counter offers from their current employers, and may be anticipating more in the future. With so much competition in the candidate market, it’s now more important than ever to focus on your offer acceptance rate.
You don’t want to go through the entire recruitment process only to have to start over because your top candidate declined your offer. A direct hire agency can help you avoid this scenario.
Uncover your candidates’ motivations
Candidates have been trained about what to say, and what not to say, during an interview to increase their chances of getting an offer. They may be hesitant to say anything negative about their current boss, even if that’s the reason they’re leaving – but that’s an important thing to know (especially if a counter-offer is involved).
Understanding your candidate’s motivations for finding a new job allows you address them throughout your recruitment process – including the offer stage.
While a candidate may not reveal to you that they want a higher salary, more vacation time, or a shorter work week, they may be more willing to share this information with your agency. Have a conversation about candidate motivations early in the recruitment process, and then come back to the discussion to see if anything has changed before you put together an offer.
Create an offer your candidate can’t refuse
Once you’ve touched base with your agency about the candidate’s motivations, put together a competitive offer that meets the candidate’s expectations. Include salary, medical/dental benefits, retirement benefits, and anything else your company offers (including those bagels you order for your Monday all-hands meeting).
Research a competitive compensation range, and run it by your agency to see if it’s in line with what they’re seeing on the market. It’s a good idea to offer 10% above what your candidate is already earning, but you may need to go higher if the candidate has higher salary expectations (a candidate’s current salary is not always a fair indication of their worth).
Throw in a few extra benefits that go above and beyond the usual benefits, if they speak to the candidate’s motivations. This may include some extra vacation time, or an education allowance.
Present the offer
Now that you have a killer offer, it’s time to present it. Work with your agency to decide who will reach out to the candidate. Every company and candidate relationship is different, but whomever has the best relationship with the candidate should deliver the news. This may be the hiring manager, HR, CEO, the agency recruiter, or some combination those.
You may choose to ask the agency recruiter to consult with the candidate first to review their expectations and any reservations they may have. This will give you the opportunity to address any issues that may stand in the way of an offer acceptance. This also gives your agency recruiter the opportunity to get a soft commitment from the candidate, if the offer meets their expectations.
When you review your offer with your candidate, go through it in it’s entirety and answer any questions the candidate may have. Also discuss your candidate’s motivations and expectations to show how your company is a great fit. You don’t need the candidate to accept your offer on the spot, but you should get a timeframe for a response.
Follow up with a written offer, including all of the details discussed previously and the date by which you hope to hear back.
Follow up (if necessary)
If you don’t hear back by the agreed upon timeframe, follow up with your candidate to understand why. They may simply need some coaching on how to give notice to their current employer or how to respond to a counter offer, which your agency may be able to provide. They may also have some looming concerns that would warrant a phone call from the hiring manager or CEO.
While this won’t guarantee that you’ll close 100% of your offers, it should help you increase your offer acceptance rate.