You’ve dedicated hours of your time to find the right candidate. You extend the offer only to have it rejected. Ouch! This is not an uncommon occurrence, and it can be discouraging to start the process all over again. According to the “Top Echelon 2018 State of the Industry Report,” these are the top reasons candidates turn down offers:

Salary is too low.

Other offers were better.

Client took too long to make the offer.

Knowing the market, building rapport and keeping the hiring process moving with a healthy sense of urgency will greatly increase your chances of receiving an offer acceptance. Know the market for a competitive edge

Make sure your compensation and skill requirements are in line with what the current market dictates. A best practice is to develop pay based on comparable jobs at similar companies, then determine the median wage. This will tell you whether your organization can actually afford to hire for the position and how experience, education and qualifications will come into play.

According to a Korn Ferry poll of nearly 5,000 professionals, people are switching jobs, but it’s not for the reason one may think. Only 19 percent of the 5,000 professionals surveyed left their position for a higher salary. Though this proves money is important, it isn’t everything when it comes to building a competitive total compensation package.

Keeping budgetary constraints in mind, you can offer alternative benefits to sweeten the deal. Some of the most common perks include health insurance, bonuses, stock options and commissions. Offering employees more than a paycheck can often give businesses a competitive edge, even when the monetary compensation is less. In fact, some of the most sought-after talent will accept lower pay for these types of fringe benefits.

Building rapport with the candidate

Prior to presenting an offer, the hiring manager should know what the candidate will accept. Trying to turn a candidate around after a rejection typically doesn’t work. It’s better to build trust and respect and establish open communication upfront.

Candidates will be more willing to share concerns, which allows for the opportunity to address and overcome issues before the offer stage. Not cultivating trust and respect could result in rejection, because the candidate may view the lack of rapport as a reflection of the company culture. Building a strong connection with the job seeker results in comfortable dialogue, while encouraging the desire to commit to the company.

The hiring process takes too long

A recruiting process with too many steps and too many people involved can turn off candidates. In a candidate market, such as the present one, the hiring process should include:

Constant communication.

Consistent feedback.

A sense of urgency.

Consider reducing the number of steps in the process, minimizing the number of interviews and improving communication with candidates throughout the process. The top-talented people have options that are not exclusive to a job opening. They represent one or more of the best job openings in the industry.

In order to attract and retain top talent, companies need to be competitive not only in compensation and company image, but also in the swiftness with which the role is offered. It is important that once A-level candidates have been presented, timing expectations are adhered to for the purpose of keeping them engaged. The recommended timespan between interview and offer is about two weeks. Remember, other companies are likely wooing this candidate. If there’s too much silence on your end, the candidate will probably move forward with another suitor.

Communicate and keep the ball rolling

Create a compensation package that matches market analysis data, attracts top talent and doesn’t stretch the budget. Get to know candidates and keep up constant communication throughout the hiring process. Make sure the offer mirrors everything you’ve discussed, because the offer stage is not the time for surprises. Do not make the candidate wait. Keep the process moving, and once you’ve decided to make an offer, make it.

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