5 Ways to Increase Your Job Offer Acceptance Rates
Implement these recommendations throughout your hiring process to see improvement over time.
In today's labor market, even entry-level candidates receive several job offers. These days, extending a job offer to a candidate is not a guarantee that they will accept it. In fact, a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) indicated that job offer acceptance rates for recent graduates fell from 68.2% in 2017 to 66.9% in 2018. Increasing your job offer acceptance rate starts at the very beginning of the candidate experience, and there are several things you can do to lead to an accepted offer. Start with these steps to increase your offer acceptance rates.
Be transparent about the hiring process from the beginning.
Whether your job application process lasts a few weeks or a few months, candidates should always an idea of what recruitment at your company looks like. A study from CareerBuilder found that 47 percent of job candidates do not receive any communication from a company, even 60 days after applying. You’re better than that! Set the autoresponse for application submissions to tell candidates when they can expect to hear from you, and always inform candidates who are out of the running that you have decided to hire someone else.
When you have decided upon the applicants you want to interview, tell them how many steps there will be from initial job application to offer letter. When a candidate is contacted for the first interview, he/she should learn what the interview process looks like in its entirety. For example, there is a huge difference between a process that involves one in-person interview before getting an offer, and a process that includes a phone screening, two rounds of in-person interviews, and a hiring assessment.
In addition, being upfront about certain benefits can narrow the applicant pool to those who are most likely to be a fit. For example, is there a salary range that candidates should know? What do the benefits look like (including insurance coverage, retirement contributions, and vacation days)? If expectations are not in alignment between candidate and company, both can save a lot of time by choosing not to pursue candidacy further.
Create a positive candidate experience throughout the application and interview process.
The candidate experience starts as early as a candidate reading the job description and choosing to apply. Job descriptions should be detailed and comprehensive, and applications themselves should be easy to complete. A study conducted by Indeed found that 88.7% of job candidates will not complete an application if there are 45 or more questions, while other research has found that 30% of candidates will only spend 15 minutes on an application. Making applications shorter (or auto-filled from a resume) and mobile-friendly can give a positive first impression for candidates.
A positive candidate experience during the interview process is mostly about communication, such as letting the candidate know the timeline between all the steps of the interview process and giving the candidate plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Common courtesy, such as being on time for interview appointments, goes a long way, too. At the end of each interview, make sure the candidate is permitted to have business cards for everyone they spoke to so that they can follow up with questions and thank you messages.
Be sure to talk about important priorities for Gen Z during the hiring process, such as professional development and company culture.
According to RippleMatch’s research, Gen Z’s most important priorities in choosing a job are opportunities for professional development and a good company culture. If you haven’t already, consider implementing one of these professional development programs for Gen Z. Do you have mentorship programs available, especially for historically underrepresented groups? Do you offer tuition benefits or time out of the workday for professional development? Underscore how your company also cares about these priorities, especially for entry-level employees.
Company culture is similarly important. Is your organization strictly hierarchical, or are employees across all levels encouraged to have a say in company affairs? Do you have company events, like happy hours or networking nights that will develop greater rapport among employees? Talk about culture fit, and give the candidate a tour of the office so they can observe company culture in action.
Be efficient with sending out the offer.
It’s likely that candidates are applying for multiple jobs at once, and you won’t know where in the pipeline they are for each position. You don’t want to lose a candidate by being one or two days late with your offer letter!
You might choose to call the candidate to inform them of the offer as soon as you have approval. Candidates should not be pressured to accept on the spot; typically, they should have a few days to finalize their decision (especially if they want to confirm their plans with a spouse or family member, or if they will need to relocate for the job). Always email an official offer letter promptly so they can formally accept the position.
After the offer is sent, offer to connect candidates to current employees so they can ask any questions about working there.
Go the extra mile by offering to answer any final questions the candidate might have before making a decision, or facilitating a conversation with other employees who can share more about their experiences of working with the company. Ideally, you should be able to match job candidates with a current employee who is currently working in the job you’re hiring for, as well as a current employee who is in a more senior-level role so the candidate can see both short-term and long-term possibilities at the company.
One final thing to remember: regardless of a candidate’s decision, you can ask them to provide feedback about why they ultimately accepted or rejected your offer. Incorporate this feedback into your hiring process and further iterate on creating an ideal candidate experience. Recruitment is resource-intensive and time-consuming, but making small tweaks throughout the hiring process can ultimately increase offer acceptances and save time (and money) in the long run.
Want to know how Gen Z candidates are faring during COVID-19? Download our report here to understand how employment was affected during the onset of COVID-19, and download our report The Gen Z Job Seeker to understand how this generation's approach to the job search has fundamentally changed.