6 tips to increase your job offer acceptance rates

You’ve offered a candidate a sales job… at last! You’ve managed to find the right person, after many interview rounds and reviewing even more crap CVs. Now, comes the waiting game – will they accept your offer or go elsewhere?

Problem is, you’re up against 100s of sales jobs posted each month in the Water Treatment industry. Candidates are inundated with job offers all day, every day.

1 in 5 job offers that you make aren’t accepted, as a rule of thumb. So how do you make sure you improve your offer acceptance rates?

 

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Simplify your recruitment process

One infuriating reason for any candidate not wanting to join your business is that you take too long!

“Time to fill” is the common metric to measure. This is how long it takes between you first engaging with a candidate (either directly or via a recruitment company) to them starting on day 1. You need to think about how many touchpoints there are, and how long it should take between first engaging and sending out a job offer. Do you need a 4-stage interview process when 2 stages will suffice? Why do many stakeholders need to meet the candidate?

Tip: never leave it more than 48 hours to review a CV.

Tip #2: always have the next stage interview within a week of the previous interview. Momentum is important, and candidates can lose interest if you take weeks to feedback.

Create interviewing excellence

How many interviews have you had when you’ve thought, “I’d hate to work for that guy”!?

Or you really bought into the vision of the MD, but then you met Linda in HR who was miserable and uninspiring!

Everyone on the interview panel needs to know a) how to interview and b) why they’re interviewing. Getting someone to meet “just because” is a waste of your time and the candidate’s time.

Tip: make a list of questions for each stakeholder, to save the candidate answering the same question repeatedly.

Make the experience amazing

When you’re buying a new home… does the estate agent give you the keys and expect you to look for yourself? Or do they walk you around a beautifully clean home, describing the amazing potential whilst you picture where the kids toys will go?

You will judge candidates very quickly based on appearance, how they address you and general demeanour. Guess what; candidates are judging you as well. And not just “you” – but your office, your receptionist, your décor, your location, your punctuality, your questioning – everything.

Tip: show candidates around your office and give them a tour. Your colleagues should say “Hi!” and make the candidate feel welcome!

Offer what is fair, verbally!

If you don’t offer someone what they’re worth, your competitor will.

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. You shouldn’t go through all the effort of spending hours – even days – of interviewing, just to try to get a candidate on the cheap.

Offers should be given verbally. Why? Because you get a better understanding if they’re going to accept or not. You will listen to their tone and questioning if the candidate is happy or not. If you send an email out, you can’t tell what the initial reaction is.

Tip: find out at the interview stages what salary they are looking for. If you’re miles away already, you can set expectations accordingly.

Send out the offer letter – alongside gifts

Virgin do this very well. Richard Branson is an entrepreneurial mastermind, and the HR team have this perfected. With every offer, a candidate will receive a book alongside some vouchers, culture, values and more – all neatly delivered in a creative package.

You have an opportunity to add value to the candidate with every interaction. What would a candidate want to see from you that will help secure their services?

Tip: For candidates with young families, you could send some Lego for the kids. Or if you uncovered a personal interest (e.g. they support a football team) – something simple like a keyring may be all the difference!

Schedule catch ups before starting their new job

Unfortunately, candidates will accept and then decline before starting. Sometimes candidates have 2 or 3 companies that they’re interviewing with and play the game. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

What you can do is keep in regular contact – especially if the candidate has a long notice period.

It doesn’t always have to be you – it could be HR, a peer, the MD, accounts – anyone relevant. However if you’re in touch, you can spot warning signs if a candidate is looking elsewhere.

Tip: discuss what their first week will be like. Talk about their role and how they can fit in with your company vision. Don’t just “catch up” for the sake of it – give it a purpose.

 

Look after your hiring process. Make sure you’re doing more than your competitor to WOW your potential employees.

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