Job Offer Acceptance: 4 Ways to Win More Candidates

Our 2022 Talent Benchmarks Report shows Lever customers had an 81% job offer acceptance rate in 2023. This was a 25% rise in their offer acceptance rate from 2018.

If your job offer acceptance rate is a lot (or even modestly) lower than this average among talent acquisition teams that use our ATS + CRM solution, it’s time to take action.

Here are four ways to get more target prospects to officially accept the job offer letters you send them and, in turn, satisfy the headcount needs of your hiring managers.

1) Learn your candidates’ motivations.

Candidates evaluate your company just as much as you assess them.

Before leads write to formally accept a job offer in writing, they want to confirm the details about the roles for which they interviewed, the teams they’d prospectively join, and your business at large to ensure it’s the right fit.

You can boost your job offer acceptance rate by learning those job seekers’ motivations early on — and using that info to inform how you craft your pitch for to them to fill a given position and get them to accept the terms of your offer via an official job offer acceptance email.

Ask them:

  • What they like and dislike about their current role/business
  • What they’d like to see in their next job opportunity
  • Where they see themselves career-wise in five years
  • What made them want to apply for to your company’s role

Similarly, don’t forget to listen to candidates’ own questions and concerns.

Let’s say a prospect is concerned with the terms of employment and compensation offered (e.g. perks and benefits, health insurance coverage, paid vacation time).

Loop in the hiring manager and other key decision-makers — including your CEO and CRO, who manage pay-related details for your org — to ensure you can capably respond to (and be prepared to negotiate with) a lead.

job offer acceptance rate

2) Provide a standout candidate experience.

The recruitment experience can change a candidate’s mind about your company — for better or for worse. Thankfully, you can provide a standout candidate experience by:

  • Communicating early and often: A common complaint among candidates today is poor communication by recruiters. Follow up with prospects often to keep them abreast of the latest status regarding the recruiting cycle.
  • Training interview panelists: Your team members involved in the hiring process are SMEs in their given roles, not necessarily interviewing. So, help them provide a great candidate experience via an interview training program.
  • Simplifying your processes: Pare down your application and interview stages to remove unnecessary steps from your candidate evaluation and offer process.

Discover more opportunities for improvement by sending a candidate experience survey at the end of your recruitment process. Look for patterns among candidates’ comments regarding your recruiting process to inform changes.

3) Align on salary expectations early.

A Pew survey found compensation was the top reason U.S. workers left a job in 2021. It’s critical to ensure your salary bands are enough to entice top prospects to sign.

Don’t get to the end of the recruiting cycle only to learn a lead anticipated a higher offer. This can be especially problematic if they have other competitive offers.

Align on salary expectations early to determine if you’re aligned.

If a prospect wants more than your current salary band allows for, review the range with leadership. Perhaps increases can be implemented to get a lead to accept.

When in doubt, ask a candidate what it would take to hire them Doing so will help them feel valued and boost your chances they’ll sign a job offer acceptance letter.

job offer approval process

4) Present a strong offer (and quickly).

When you’ve decided to extend a written offer to your first-choice candidate, call them to express your gratitude for taking the time to interview and share the exciting news.

  • Let the candidate know how happy the entire team is to extend the official offer.
  • Review the salary and benefits being offered (PTO plan, flexible work policy, etc.).
  • Ask if they have reservations before they accept an offer so you can address them.
  • Discuss the starting date, if they accept the position, and put next steps in motion.

Whenever possible (though, ideally, all the time), loop in your hiring manager for the phone call so they can continue to build a relationship with their potential new hire.

Follow up your phone call with the formal offer letter via email detailing everything you discussed. Be sure to request a response within two business days (at the most).

Don’t get overly creative with the subject line for the offer letter email. Just make it clear it’s a formal offer for the role (“Offer to join [company name] as [job title here]”).

If you don’t hear back in that timeframe, follow up to learn why they’re not ready to accept. They may need extra wooing to ensure the job is the right move for them.

Download our 2022 Talent Benchmarks Report to discover how you and your TA team can optimize your recruitment process to better attract and convert top-tier talent.

talent benchmarks report

Further reading