How to Make Offers Candidates Can’t Refuse

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As a recruiting firm, Artemis Consultants (and its competitors) are seeing more candidates than ever decline offers.  Between 2008-2014, candidates seemed to be doing more of the selling, but that is not the case today.  Top candidates are being courted by multiple companies, and hiring managers are doing all they can to win talent. We need to know how to make offers candidates can’t refuse.

But what makes candidates ultimately accept certain positions when terms of offers are relatively equal?  Why are some offers accepted and others declined?

In our experience as recruiters, we have noticed that it is only partly about the obvious differentiators: money, flexibility and benefits.  Many companies offer market rate compensation.  It’s also about something else, something many companies overlook.

The human element.  In landing a top candidate, the “yes” difference is as simple and as complex as the human element.  Time and again, we see candidates choose positions where they feel the biggest personal connection.

Candidate Feels Desired and Respected

When it comes to hiring, candidates, as human beings, are more attracted to opportunities when the hiring manager is sincerely interested in THEM. They want to feel desired versus having to sell their skill sets and prove themselves.

Yes, the candidate needs to be able to demonstrate that they’re qualified.  But once they’ve sufficiently demonstrated that, the hiring manager should be mindful how much more vetting they really need to do.  Too much questioning can turn a highly qualified candidate off, and it can ruin the personal connection made in the interview.

To take this one step further, an interviewer should show respect through complimenting a candidate’s past accomplishments.  Question the candidate when needed, but also be wary of undermining valuable experience.

Communicate a Specific Vision of Personal Impact

Many candidates will place a greater level of importance on the impact they can make over other factors like compensation.  Knowing that an opportunity taps into their personal wheelhouse and matches personal career goals is highly motivating.

Hiring managers should walk candidates through their vision of what the candidate will accomplish if hired.  Also, interviewers should communicate how the employer will support the candidate with both resources and the freedom to make an impact.  Jess Whittlestone and William MacAskill of describe the self-determination theory: “According to self-determination theory, a theory of human motivation, autonomy is one of the three basic human needs that are completely innate and apply across time, gender, and culture.  We need to feel like we are control of our life and our choices in order to be happy–including what work we do and when we do it.”  Feeling empowered about the ability to make an impact during the hiring process can be a true differentiator in whether a candidate accepts an offer.

Personalizing the Offer

When a hiring manager makes an offer, he or she should make it personal. Create a completely different offer letter which demonstrates excitement and the vision of how the company will benefit from their hire.

A hiring manager should always show sincerity and explain why the candidate was ultimately chosen.  Explain in detail why they are a good fit to the culture.  Address any concerns raised in the interview.  Include a specific detail or story from the time spent in the interview to show true connection. “Much like modern consumers expect a high level of personalization in marketing messages, top talent today expects an increasingly personalized recruiting experience, and rightly so (”

Personalization and transparency will build trust, respect, and the rapport that leads to offer acceptance.

Hiring Managers know that today’s job market isn’t stacked in companies’ favor. Low unemployment means that the market favors job seekers, who are free to be picky about choosing an offer that meets all their requirements. Here are some insights into why candidates may not be accepting your offer. 

Artemis Consultants can help businesses recruit top talent and make offers that are thoughtful and personalized.  It is our job to empower hiring managers to make offers top candidates can’t refuse.

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