How to predict if my candidate will reject my offer

January 27, 2023

Recruitment is probably one of the most difficult jobs when it comes to “closing the deal”. It’s not about the size of the deal; how great your offer is; or even how attractive the company you represent is. When it comes to recruitment, we’re dealing with a product (i.e. candidates) that can essentially say no to being ‘sold’.

While we cannot force our candidates to take an offer, if we manage the process carefully, we can predict the likelihood of them accepting or declining one.

“What’s the point of predicting if they were going to decline the offer anyway?” some may question. While some of the advantages of knowing earlier are obvious, some are not.

Backup plan

If you know early enough, you have sufficient time to come up with a backup plan like restarting your search or speaking to other prospects to spark their interests.

Influence the process

Sure – it may not work out but at least it’s worth a conversation. You don’t want to wait until the offer is on the table and have that narrow conversation. You can open up more opportunities, know the concerns of the candidates, and maybe even raise these concerns to your clients to perhaps get a more suitable role or offer. Communication is key.

Advise your client

it’s equally as painful to the client when an offer is rejected. If you know early enough, you can ease that pain for your clients. They will love you for it and always remember how consultative you were.

So what are some of the ways you can tell if a candidate is likely to reject your offer?

Ask the candidate

obviously enough – ask directly.

“what would you do if your company tries to retain you?”

“Are you sure about moving?”

You may not want to hear the hurtful truth but this is the most direct way you can know what they are thinking.

Are there any other roles that are being considered

if you can find out how many other roles they are interviewing for at the moment, you can objectively compare the different jobs. Remember to be IMPARTIAL about this, you may or may not have the best job or company, and what’s best to you may not be the best for the candidate.

How’s the relationship between the candidate and their team

during your conversations, you can get a feel for the chemistry within the candidate’s current team. They may even have had a recent conversation about a promotion that you should know about.

What they like and dislike?

Ask each time after an interview, what they liked and didn’t like about the meeting. Confirm with them to see if they are still keen on proceeding in the process. If they don’t want to proceed, don’t force them to. It’s most important to get an honest view of where they stand rather than being pushy.

any other useful ways you use to early-detect rejections? email me and share; I’ll make sure you get featured in the next blog:

Howard Sung

Co-founder of - Intelligent Recruiter Matching Platform

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