Job Offer Declined? You May Have Skipped These Crucial Steps

negotiating a job offer

Two weeks ago, I got a phone call from a stressed Talent Acquisition Director. 

“We’ve been searching for a VP of Marketing since April. The hiring team extended offers to two candidates and both declined. What can we do to secure a leader that will say yes?” 

This wasn’t the first call I’ve received from an organization faced with several turndowns. In my more than 17 years as an executive recruiter, I have never seen the war for talent more fierce, especially for marketing, sales, and tech talent.  

Forbes reported 72% of marketers said the importance of marketing their companies increased during the last year, up from 62% in 2020. This comes at a time where employers are seeing a record number of resignations and declined offers. In what some are dubbing ‘The Great Resignation’ employees are leaving their jobs in search of better opportunities, whether it be pay, the ability to work remotely, or other benefits. 

Hiring for marketing positions is expected to increase 7.6% in 2021, letting prospective job seekers feel like the power is in their hands. With the demand for marketers at an all-time high, candidates are declining job offers at a record rate in search of the opportunity that best fits their needs. 

Good news for candidates, challenging times for hiring organizations. 

How does a company present the most attractive job offer to candidates with several other options? We’ve written about this topic before because extending a job offer is an art and a science. 

But in this congested market, hiring managers need a strategic approach to luring new talent. Try these tactics to score an acceptance when competition is fierce. 

Pro-tip for job seekers. Read through these employer recommendations. These are signals that a company is invested in you as an individual. 

Career Goals 

Talk to your candidate about their aspirations. Figure out how your position can meet those desires. Remind them of this fit throughout the interview process and especially when you present the offer. Be as specific as possible. If your candidate is looking for a chance to advance, show them the career pathing opportunities on paper. 

Rethink Virtual Interviews 

Many organizations are still figuring out how to work in offices. The interview process should stand independent of this question. Face-to-face meetings are extremely valuable in today’s hiring climate. Even if the meeting cannot be conducted in an office, go for a walk, get coffee, or eat outside. Those social interactions can edge your offer above the others. 

What used to be normalized is now just returning to normalcy; setting an in-person meeting coveys to your candidate that you care about them, and they are worth your time. 

Offers & Notes 

When it’s time to extend an offer, do not send an email. Call your candidate over video phone to demonstrate how pleased you are to present them with this opportunity. Walkthrough it step-by-step. Be available for immediate questions and have answers ready about benefits, bonuses, and equity. 

Before you make the formal offer, the hiring manager can send a handwritten note to the candidate, again expressing their excitement about inviting this candidate to work at the organization. Be sure to share with the candidate WHY they have been chosen for the opportunity before disclosing any job offer details, think about it – would you propose to your significant other without expressing your feelings for them and the future you envision together?” A job offer isn’t all that different. 

Clear Communication 

People are wondering – will I have to go into an office? What safety precautions are in place? What are the organization’s pandemic plans? Your hiring teams must have answers. Uncertainty does not appeal to those in high demand. 

Slice of Life 

Find a company representative to talk to your candidate one-on-one. All the better in person. Let them act as a surrogate to your culture, so pick someone who exemplifies your organization in a positive way. 

The New Rules of Hiring 

The purpose of these suggestions is to help you avoid what other hiring managers are struggling with: rejections. Focusing on the candidate needs shows your prospective hires that you care about them before they join your organization. In a growing post-pandemic job market, these actions could make all the difference between hiring a leader to drive exponential growth for your company or losing them to a competitor.