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How to get a candidate to accept your job offer

Published: Monday 1st June 2015

It’s not a new problem, but it’s one that hits recruiters hard. You have the perfect candidate for a role but at the last moment they turn you down and accept another offer. As an experienced recruiter, you know this can happen with ideally qualified candidates – but there are things you can do throughout the recruitment process to make sure it’s your job offer they accept, not your competitor’s.

Accepting a Job Offer is not as easy as ABC!

Well, it isn’t really but the golden ABC rule – always be closing – is well worth being reminded of. Closing the deal, or bagging the best client, starts way before job offer stage. You’ll have an inkling from a candidate’s CV and the very first time you meet them whether they have potential. Start selling the job now. If they turn out to be less than ideal, you’re not committed to making an offer but you do need them to be onside from the off.

Knowledge is power

Cheering female with her arm raised up

Do you really know your candidate and what they are looking for? Are you aware of any deal-breakers that could come back to bite you later on down the line? What salary/benefits are they expecting? Is flexible working something they are looking for? If a candidate would be required to move areas for a role, what are their family circumstances? Are local schools important to them? Good recruiters ask the right questions early on in the process and forge good relationships with their top candidates.

Time is of the essence

Don’t take too much time over the hiring process otherwise you could find your top choice has gone elsewhere. When someone finally decides they want to change jobs, they want to get on with it as soon as possible. Of course, certain aspects of the process will be out of your hands and down to the end client but you must do everything you can to keep your side of things moving. Remember to keep the candidate fully informed about any delays.

Keep talking…

And not just to the candidate, you need to be in regular touch with your client who may well not inform you quite as quickly as you would like when things change. You need to be on top of all aspects of this placement. If, after an offer has been made to the candidate you put forward, and they are hesitating then ask why. If salary is a sticking point could you negotiate with the client? If there’s no room for manoeuvre there, remind the candidate about all the other benefits on offer.

manager sitting at his desk in an office shaking hands with a job applicant after an interview. Smiling candidate accepting job offer after successful interview.

No pressure 

In recruitment as in life, too much pressure can make a person run in the opposite direction – straight into the arms of your competition. Remember to persuade, not pressurise.

What’s your Plan B?

If all else fails and your perfect proposition opts for another post, make sure you have your back-up plan in place and treat your second and third choice candidates as well as your first. You never know when you’ll need them.

For more recruiter and employer tips on finding new talent, visit our Zoek blog. If you have vacancies to fill today and are looking for online job advertising, why not try Zoek for faster, smarter recruitment. Sign up today.

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