Job Offer Acceptance: 4 Ways to Win More Candidates

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You found a great candidate. You engaged them with nurture messaging regarding an open role. They took part in the interview process for said position. You made a formal offer to them.

  • Now, you simply hope to hear about their job offer acceptance after all that hard work.

If they say yes to the offer in writing, you get one step closer to reaching your target business goals. If they say no, you and your talent team have to turn to second and third choices.

(Or, worse, you have to begin your recruitment process for the role over from scratch.)

While the decision is entirely up to your candidate, there are some things you can do to boost your odds of bolstering your job offer acceptance rate and onboarding top-tier talent.

4 ways to increase your job offer acceptance rate

Our 2022 Talent Benchmarks Report shows Lever customers had an 81% job offer acceptance rate during the 2021 calendar year. This denoted a 25% rise in offer acceptance from 2018.

If your job offer acceptance rate is significantly (or even modestly) lower than this average among talent acquisition teams that use our ATS + CRM solution, it’s time to take action.

Here are four ways to get more target prospects to join your organization.

1) Learn your candidates’ motivations.

Candidates evaluate your company just as much as you assess them. You can boost your job offer acceptance rate by learning those job seekers’ motivations early on — and using that info to inform how you craft your pitch for to them to fill a given position.

You can get greater insight into their motivations by asking them:

  • What they like and dislike about their current role/business
  • What they’d like to see in their next job opportunity
  • Where they see themselves career-wise in five years
  • What made them want to apply for to your company’s role

Be honest about what you can offer when answering questions around these areas so you can capably highlight where your opportunity aligns with the candidate’s motivations.

For instance, if a candidate is frustrated with the lack of advancement in their current role, highlight your internal talent development program and ask interviewers to discuss their own career progression within the company over the years.

If a prospect is concerned more with areas your C-suite and HR can/should address (e.g. perks and benefits, health insurance coverage, paid vacation time), loop the appropriate stakeholders into the convo so they can answer questions as well.

job offer acceptance rate

2) Provide a standout candidate experience.

The recruitment experience can change a candidate’s mind about your company — for better or for worse. Thankfully, you and your TA org can provide a standout candidate experience by:

  • Communicating early and often: A common complaint among candidates today is poor communication by recruiters. Follow up with prospects within a day after each recruitment process stage to keep them abreast of the latest status regarding the recruiting cycle.
  • Training interview panelists: Your team members involved in the hiring process are subject matter experts in their given roles, not necessarily interviewing. So, help them provide a great candidate experience via an interview training program that can get them up to speed on all best practices.
  • Simplifying your processes: Pare down your application and interview stages to remove unnecessary steps from your evaluation process and candidate interactions. The simpler your recruiting approach is, the more you can streamline and speed it up — and boost your job offer acceptance rate.

Discover more opportunities for improvement by sending a candidate experience survey at the end of your recruitment process, and monitoring employer review sites like Glassdoor. Look for patterns among candidates’ comments regarding your recruitment model and devise a plan to make the requisite improvements based on their feedback.

3) Align on salary expectations early.

A Pew Research Center survey found compensation was the top reason U.S. workers left a job in 2021. That means it critical to ensure your salary bands are enough to entice top prospects in the midst of their job search to sign on.

Don’t get to the end of the recruiting cycle with a person only to learn that they anticipated a higher offer. This can be particularly problematic if they have other competitive offers.

  • Align on salary expectations early so you can determine if you’re in the same ballpark.

If a given prospect wants more than your current salary band allows for, review the terms of said band with leadership and HR. Perhaps adjustments can be made (see: a decent-sized increase) to get candidates to accept the job and agree to join the business.

When in doubt, ask the candidate what it would take to get them in the door. Doing so will help them feel valued, increasing your chances that they’ll sign a job offer acceptance letter.

4) Present a strong offer (and quickly).

When you’ve decided to extend a formal, written offer to your first-choice candidate, call them to express your gratitude for taking their time to interview and share the exciting news.

For example:

  • Let the candidate know how happy the entire team is to extend the official offer. Reiterate how your opportunity aligns with their motivations.
  • Review the salary and benefits being offered, including health insurance details, how many weeks of paid time off they will receive, and flexible work options.
  • Ask if they have any reservations before they accept the offer so you can address them.
  • Discuss an ideal starting date, if they accept the position, and put next steps in motion.

Whenever possible (though, ideally, all the time), rope in your hiring manager for the phone call so they can continue to build a relationship with their potential new hire.

Follow up your phone call with the formal offer letter via email detailing everything you discussed over the phone. Be sure to request a response within two business days after they receive the offer to impart the relative urgency behind signing it.

Don’t get overly creative with the email subject line for the offer-letter email. Just make it clear it’s a formal offer for the role in question (“Offer to join [company name] as [job title here]”).

If you don’t hear back in that timeframe, follow up to learn why they’re not ready to accept. They may need a little extra wooing to ensure the job is the right move for them.

Download our 2022 Talent Benchmarks Report to discover how you and your TA team can optimize your recruitment process to better attract and convert top-tier talent.

lever talent benchmarks report