How to Ensure A Candidate Accepts Your Job Offer

Candidate experience is a modern concept that encompasses the entire set of activities, feelings and experiences a candidate goes through during their job search. But which of those experiences contain the key moments that can compel a candidate to reject or accept a job offer? Those defining impact points are of high interest to any organization seeking to make an immediate impact on one of the most telling recruitment metrics: offer-acceptance rate.

On Average, Over the Past Year, What Percentage of Extended Offers Were Declined?

The main challenges in providing excellent employee experience are consistent in Brandon Hall Group research and have been noted in other Strategy Briefs and stem from the inability to look at the hiring process from the candidates’ points of view.

What Are Your Greatest Candidate Experience Challenges?

No one wants their time wasted and no one wants to feel deceived, yet those are the experiences many organizations give to their candidates because of the most common challenges in their recruitment process.

It’s reasonable to assume that organizations have plausible explanations for these problems: a large number of applicants, multiple decision-makers in the hiring process, shifting job responsibilities, etc. However, that assumes the employer point-of-view and does nothing to ease the burden of the hiring process from the candidate’s perspective, which has significant implications.

Recruiting is often looked upon as a numbers game; “If x number of applicants are in y stage of the pipeline, then we will have z number of hires.” But this is an antiquated way of looking at it. Specific candidates can mean the difference between achieving your desired business results or not, especially as the talent market becomes specialized and average tenure drops.

The consequences for not hiring the talent your organization needs goes beyond not achieving your immediate business goals. It also has ramifications for future endeavors, innovation within the company and increased agility, and also means there is a high likelihood that your biggest competitor did hire that candidate.

Determining which aspects of the candidate experience to fix first is an important question, but not the first one that should be asked. The first issues every organization should consider are:

• How can technology help create a better candidate experience — or how is it currently standing in the way?

• How are you assessing successful candidate experience now and what are the correct interventions to change those metrics?

• What improvements could be made to integrate of all aspects of the candidate experience?

• How does your internal candidate experience compare to your overall employee experience?

Brandon Hall Group research revealed the major inflection points for where candidates make stay-or- leave decisions, but beyond the specifics, there are best practices in recruiting that will serve any company, regardless of size or industry:

SOURCE YOUR SOURCES Look beyond the traditional areas candidates are found online. The talent market is competitive, so identifying new markets can reduce competition, especially for businesses that can’t compete on salary or benefits. Look for new areas where candidates can be found, whether geographically, by industry, experience levels or other websites or platforms.

MAKE THINGS EASY ON THE CANDIDATE Whether through technology or process, make sure the candidate feels they have both agency and value.

Agency is their ability to have a sense of control over the recruiting process, which means being able to get information when they need it, setting preferences for contact information and methods, and being respectful of their data.

Ensuring candidates feel valued means closing the feedback loop. If they have a comment or suggestion, make sure that it is responded to even if an immediate change can’t be made. Be timely in responses, which will go a long way toward alleviating an especially long interview process if that can’t be avoided.

MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND IS REFLECTED IN YOUR EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE No matter how positive the employee experience is, most candidates will not get the job. They may, however, be possible future applicants or customers. Be certain the experience they had during the hiring process is both one that would make them accept the offer — because that means they are likely to apply again when they are a better fit — and speak favorably of the experience on social media and “in real life” (IRL) or use your company’s goods and/or services at a later date.


Brandon Hall Group Strategy Briefs answer the critical questions learning, talent, HR and business leaders must address to manage their human capital. To tackle these critical questions in more detail, we built tools, frameworks, research summaries and business builders based on up-to-date research and case studies for you to implement best and next Human Capital Management (HCM) practices. To gain access to these valuable resources, contact [email protected].

Leading minds in HCM choose Brandon Hall Group to help them build future-proof employee-development plans for the new era. For more than 27 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world, influencing the development of over 10,000,000 associates and executives.

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