It’s finally happening. After a long period of searching for the perfect engineer, IT specialist, or administrative support staff member, one emerges from your hiring pool. As a human resources manager or supervisor, you are ready to welcome your new hire.
But in an unfortunate turn of events, the candidate decides to look for offers elsewhere. This revelation is both baffling and disheartening, knowing that searching for a good fit with your organization’s culture is no easy task.
It’s time you nip it in the bud and get down to why potential hires are turning down job offers and, in your organization, what to do when a candidate rejects a job offer. Let’s take a look at some strategies to make a candidate choose to start anew with you rather than with another organization.
1. There are competitive salaries elsewhere.
It’s common practice for recruiters to hold off on sharing information about salary until the end of the hiring process. Unfortunately, this is also one of the main reasons applicants opt not to accept your offer. Recruitment took a lot of their time, only to end up with a disappointing salary and compensation offer.
Is the solution then to inform applicants of the salary at the start? Of course not. If your potential hires have concerns over proposed pay, it might be time to reevaluate the job offer in a way that applicants are enticed to grab for.
Research the average salary for the positions your organization offers, and do your best to up the ante when it comes to the starting salary of said positions. You might want to consider the pay within your area, as fellow organizations within your business circle are probably the next places applicants will go to after applying at yours. For example, IT professionals within California earn up to $112,000 on average in a year and $110,000 in Michigan.
Remember that many candidates aren’t easily swayed by salary and compensation alone. Nowadays, many job hunters are okay with pay cut for a better work-life balance. In this regard, don’t just stop at salary. Does your organization offer work-from-home arrangements? How will the new hire be supported when it comes to medical emergencies or vacation leave? Money isn’t the only thing that will entice future applicants.
2. The job being offered is not what was advertised.
It does happen that when a newly-hired applicant finally gets to read their job description, they are shocked to find that it’s different from the post they saw online originally. The applicants feel bamboozled, perhaps even tricked, into a position they really didn’t sign up for. And the entire hiring process goes to waste, again.
Take administrative staff, for example. While their productivity means are encompassing, it’s not reason enough to assign them to multiple departments, rather than what they originally read in the job description. Experienced administrative professionals know too well: they are trusted with responsibilities not in their contract, like managing printers and meeting room cleanliness, and get blamed for errors they shouldn’t be blamed for. To avoid this, they won’t sign that contract.
When this happens, it’s imperative to check your job posting. Were there details that were left out unintentionally? Or does it read differently to job hunters, and somewhere the position’s responsibilities were lost in translation?
Another way to avoid surprising contract details is to review them again during the interview. When talking to the candidate, explain the position’s responsibilities thoroughly, and ask if they are okay with what you have outlined. Invite the applicant to ask questions. Gaining clarity from their viewpoint diminishes the possibility they’ll say no to a job offer because it’s not what they thought it would be.
3. The hiring process was problematic.
How an organization goes about recruitment can be considered its first impression on potential employees. And yes, first impressions do last, and they can play in your organization’s favor or against it.
In a 2021 survey, 58 percent of job hunters admitted to not saying yes to a job offer simply because they had a poor experience during recruitment. It’s also worth noting that most potential candidates know their worth. If they are inconvenienced when they spend their first few days with your organization, they’d rather have those days end quickly and look for another organization that will welcome them.
Many organizations have opted to use an applicant tracking system for their hiring efforts, to follow where candidates are in the recruitment process and at what point they decide not to continue. It also helps to send a request for feedback to applicants, asking about how your institution did during recruitment, wherever they may end in the hiring process. Then, once you have reviewed the comments, make the necessary changes in the process, and see how the next applicant will benefit.
4. Your organization may have a “bad reputation”.
Besides an organization’s reputation for their products or services, they also have a “recruiter brand.” Some organizations are unaware of this, especially because their recruiter brand is not something that’s usually consciously built. As a result of that brand, former employees and applicants write reviews about what kind of organization you are to the people you’ve hired and those you try to hire.
When an applicant has started engaging with you and is aiming to be employed within your institution, chances are they are already googling your recruiter brand. So, take a moment and assess: what are employees saying about their experience within your workforce? What’s sad about these online reviews is that there is a chance that the issues they brought up may have already been solved in present time. But of course, potential hires won’t know this, and they’ll just accept what they found as truth.
The discussion to create a strong recruiter brand is long, but to start out, search the internet for what is said about your organization and be proactive in approaching such information. Irate former employees leaving scathing reviews of your organization may be met with a public response from one of your managers, so future readers will see that there is an effort on your organization’s behalf to mitigate problems. Hopefully, future applicants will see this effort.
Also, ask the engineers, IT, and administrative staff you have employed right now to do employee reviews of your own organization. The kind words and praises they have about your organization can be used as anecdotes in job descriptions to attract applicants. As for criticisms, you may want to act quickly before they turn into negative word-of-mouth within the job market.
5. There are concerns over COVID-19 measures within your organization.
This is understandably a major concern today. While COVD-19 is not yet contained, future employees may have qualms about working onsite, or what happens if they get the virus, especially when new hires don’t have medical support yet.
It’s a good idea to review what your organization is doing to protect the workforce from COVID-19. For example, work-from-home arrangements are a good idea, and even a hybrid work format would appeal to applicants, showing that there is the freedom to still not go out there just to earn a salary.
There are many organizations now that hire engineers at a remote or hybrid working capacity. Amazon is looking for support engineers who can work their magic from home, and organizations like Bentley and Motorola are also on the lookout for system engineers who can work from home. Perhaps your organization can follow suit, not only with engineers but for other workforce openings as well.
Many organizations have created new policies and processes for newbie employees if they test positive for the virus. It would be a good idea to share this info with applicants as they decide if working with your organization is their best decision at the moment.
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