Talent Management • 3 min reading

How Do You Avoid Your Offers Being Rejected?

Though longstanding, the phenomenon where offers are rejected is intensifying. The candidate-driven market suggests that this trend is not going to reverse soon. Besides, it is estimated that about 50% of job offers are rejected. Recruiters ask then themselves, “what to do in this recurring situation?” While there doesn’t seem to be a single answer, I’d like to share with you some thoughts I hope will make you go further in your reflections.

On March 18th, I participated in a Live Discussion, and I was able to confirm that the problem greatly affects the recruitment world. I realize that current challenges can be disruptive for recruiters and it’s becoming urgent to adapt to a reality that has evolved significantly in the last few years.

The Threat of Counter-Offers

As soon as we meet the candidates, we must prepare them for the possibility that their current employer will make them a counter-offer. It is therefore important to validate their motivation to switch jobs. We can also encourage the candidate to review the frustrations they know, highlight their reasons for leaving and lead them to understand that the situation is unlikely to switch as long as they stay in the same job. It might be appropriate, then, to remind them that it’s not only about money, even if the overbidding looks enticing… What’s more, there’s a risk of losing the current employer’s trust.

We need to understand that with the pandemic and the looming specter of a World War, anxiety reaches new heights. And because job changes are one of the biggest factors of stress in life, we must take that into account. Not all candidates are ready to amplify their uncertainty level. It is important to get to know from the get go if talent we are looking for is really ready to take the plunge and get a new job, all while highlighting the benefits they could get out of it (career progression, dynamic team, stimulating challenges, favorable working conditions, company culture matching their values, etc.). By validating their intentions from the outset, the candidate is further engaged in their job change.

Gotta Go Fast

How many of us have had the carpet pulled out from under our feet just as we made an offer and the candidate rejected it, indicating they had just accepted another employer’s proposal?

Undoubtedly, the recruitment process is becoming shorter and shorter, to the point where some are asking how it’s even possible to conduct the pre-employment interview, check references and administer psychometric or motivation testing without risking losing the candidate. Many point out the similarity with the current real estate market, where we don’t perform inspections…

One of the Live Discussion participants explained to us that her company bet on partnerships with headhunters and specialized psychometric testing companies, to then reserve specific timeslots with them to manage to orchestrate everything in parallel.

The Great Seduction

Given that speed is so critical, the onboarding needs to start as soon as we contact the candidate. That’s when the seduction game starts. It is important to be there throughout the process, follow up regularly and engage candidates with the company as soon as possible. By having a very detailed plan of actions, it is more likely that you will offer an interesting candidate experience and you will have your offer accepted.

To help you seduce your coveted talent, you can bet on your company culture, future projects, what makes your organization a good place to work, and the stimulating parts of the job they seek. You could, for example, invite the candidate over for coffee with the manager, or let them visit the workplace and meet their future colleagues. You need to make the person feel like they will be welcomed and have their place within the organization right from the initial contact. Of course, with this approach, the team, especially the managers, must be engaged. To that end, it is likely you will have to train and educate them.

Whatever is your strategy to get your offers accepted, it is critical to start the work upstream. The recruiter and managers’ roles need to be reviewed as well. It is increasingly necessary to adapt to each candidate and be agile. Labor shortages don’t seem to be clearing up soon and we must agree to review the ways we work.

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