Simple Steps to Stop Getting Offer Declines


The number one hiring issue of 2017 that I am hearing from Hiring Managers, Human Resources, and other Recruiters is that more candidates are turning down their offers than ever. Unfortunately, declined offers are a frustrating part of recruitment.

There are several things that you can do to reduce the occurrence of offer declines.

Before we get into my magical solutions for the offer declines you’re getting, let’s take a moment to consider the cost of offer declines.

  • Conduct the search twice? Unless you have a plethora of candidates, an offer decline means you have to redo the search. Starting from scratch takes time and can be expensive. Declined offers can add 30, 60, or 90 days to your search… OUCH.
  • Lose other candidates? Many people get focused on their number one candidate and can lose alternate candidates buy neglecting them, putting them on “mold,” or failing to even interview viable alternates. By the time they get a decline, alternates have lost interest or have found another job.
  • That job again? A not so obvious cost of declined offers is the impact to your reputation. The longer a job is open and the more people hear about it the more people start to wonder what’s wrong with the job, company, or you as a leader.

What you can do to prevent offer declines:

  • Stop Accepting That Declines Are Normal! Many people just accept that decline offers are part of doing business. However, you should not accept this, as they are extremely costly to your business. Change your mindset and focus on winning!
  • Pay Attention to Where Your Candidates Come From. The more active a candidate is the higher the chance that they will decline you. In other words, if a candidate is interviewing for multiple jobs, applying to open jobs on your website, or responding to everyone on LinkedIn, you’re asking for a decline. The more passive the candidate is the more likely you can land them. Great headhunters always focus on identifying people who are not looking for a job; these folks are typically the best performers and are also likely to not be interviewing for multiple jobs.
  • The Faster You Move, the Faster You Hire. Can you make an offer within 24 hours of an interview? Your process needs to out-hustle your competitors. Be bold and decisive; slow hiring processes are the number one cause of offer declines.
  • Manage Multiple Candidates Through Your Process. If there are alternate candidates, do your best to keep them engaged and keep searching for backups until the deal is done.
  • Make good offers. Given the list of negative impacts we listed for offer declines, do you really think it’s worth five or ten grand in salary to make a junk offer? Get aggressive with your offers and you will hire better people faster. Results come from building a great team, not from penny pinching.
  • Sell, Sell, Sell! Recruiting great candidates takes an investment from the hiring manager and the recruiter in building a relationship with your good candidates. The more time and energy you invest in getting to know your candidate and selling the benefits of the position, company, and working for you, the less likely you will get declined.

Implementing these six simple strategies will increase your acceptance rate and results in hiring better candidates faster for your team. If I had to choose one, it would be to change your mindset today and to not accept that offer declines are part of business. Start focusing on winning the war for talent, not on accepting casualties.