You’ve spent weeks speaking to recruiters, reviewing CVs, shortlisting and interviewing candidates and you’ve finally found the perfect person; but they’ve just said no to a great job offer. Here we go, back to square one.
How do you avoid candidates turning you down at the last minute?
It should be pretty rare, so if you’re seeing a recurring theme, take a look at your interview process. You should have picked up a good idea if they’re keen to jump on board (obviously sometimes people do surprise you!), so if it's a shock that they declined your offer, ask yourself these questions:
Are you offering a competitive salary package?
Not everyone is financially motivated, but it sure helps. Do your research; if you’re not meeting market standards it will be difficult to get an incredible candidate on board when they know they can go elsewhere.
Are you acting quickly?
If there are huge gaps between interviews, with little contact and it takes you weeks to make a final decision, don’t expect people to hang around. A long-winded hiring process screams inefficiency and candidates will only assume the role itself will reflect this.
Have you tried to build a relationship with them?
People will be less likely to say no if they’ve had the opportunity to build provisional relationships. Have they met their manager and team? Have you taken the time to get to them on a personal level?
Are you addressing the candidate’s concerns?
If they’ve asked questions about training opportunities or career prospects and you’ve ignored them, you’re not laying a great foundation for a supportive working environment.
Are they actually right for this role?
Don’t be blinded by their bubbly personality, concentrate on their actual skills. Drill down to what you actually want from them and question their experience. You can avoid the disappointment of a 'no', by never offering in the first place...
Do you know what their personal motivations are?
Take the time to figure out what makes this person tick. Does it match what you’re offering?
How have they been treated throughout the recruitment process?
79% of candidates won’t accept a job offer if they’ve been treated poorly throughout the hiring process (Criterion) Have you consistently cancelled interviews expecting candidates to rearrange their plans at short notice? Or waited days to respond to their email?
Avoiding a ‘no’ from every single candidate might be unrealistic but addressing these potential issues could help with your 'yes' rate.