What Is Your Offer Acceptance Rate?

Posted by Peyton Liu on January 28, 2015

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What Is Your Offer Acceptance Rate?

Offer Acceptance Rate is one of the very important metrics in recruiting activities, and I have come across a spotlight from the "National Association of College and Employers" (NACE). They have recently published data in their Recruiting Benchmark Survey, which may be worth looking at.

Once you have the perfect candidate for a job, it would be nice to assume that the candidate also believes the position at your company to be a perfect fit for them, but this isn't always the case. Some reasons a candidate may not accept your offer could be the salary you have offered them, or perhaps they received a better offer somewhere else, etc. Companies should not expect to have every offer accepted, but they should aim for around 90 percent. If they can't reach this goal, they may need to look more closely at the reasons behind the declined offers.

There are a few things your organization can do to improve your offer acceptance rate:

Compare your salary offers to industry averages and adjust accordingly.

Salary discussions can be a sensitive topic, and candidates may not want to talk about this in person during the interview. If the candidates didn't put an "expected salary" when they apply for the job, HR will usually put down the salary based on this job's current and historical data. However, if you don't do your research, your offered salary could be 20% less than the market average.

So, the question for you is, "Do you know your company's pay strategy?" If yes, great! Use the most updated market information to check the specific job's salary average. If not, there are several ways to get this market data. You can refer to a previous blog of mine, "Five Steps to Design a Compensation Plan."

I strongly recommend that you compare your salary offerings to industry averages and make changes to your plans accordingly. Don't let the salary be the ONLY reason a candidate turns down the offer.

Try including a signing bonus for high-level positions.

Signing bonuses are becoming very popular in recent years, and you may want to consider putting this in your offer letter. First, a signing bonus could help you beat the competition. When you assume that high-level candidates receive several offer letters at a time, a signing bonus could set you apart and make a big difference. Second, a signing bonus could make up for the benefits that the candidates may have left behind. If the candidate will lose out on a big bonus or other benefits by leaving his current job, a signing bonus can act as an important metric when they consider the pros and cons of accepting your offer.

Include salary requirements in the screening questionnaire to fast-fail candidates who will not match your offer.

Screening questionnaires can help us to make decisions and save time. Most of the time, we only design the questionnaire for skills and experience. However, it may be a good idea to include a question around expected salary in your screening questionnaires. This will make the process much simpler from the very beginning.

With all of these things in mind, we know that salary is not usually the ONLY reason candidates will turn down your offer, but the reality is that it has a significant weight on the candidate's decision. So when it comes to analyzing your offer acceptance rate, this is the first issue that you should look at.

Click here for the full SmartPaper on the "Top 10 Recruiting Metrics HR Should Know About."