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Calculating and Improving Your Offer Acceptance Rate

Offer acceptance rate is an important metric for your organization to measure, and tracking it provides several benefits to your organization. It provides insight into your organization’s ability to stand out in a competitive job market and is an overall indicator of success for recruiting efforts. But the most important thing measuring your offer acceptance rate does is allow you to improve it – which leads to a higher level of organizational talent and culture.

How to calculate your offer acceptance rate

Calculating your offer acceptance rate is fairly simple. Take the number of offers accepted and divide it by the number of offers your company made. In most cases, only include final offers made externally, however, the most important thing is to remain consistent in what you are including to avoid skewing your data. Most organizations should calculate their offer acceptance rate every year, however, if you are a part of a large organization, performing a calculation quarterly or monthly can be more effective.

Of all your recruiting metrics, your offer acceptance rate should be one of the highest – over 90% in most industries. Benchmarking your offer acceptance rate is best done based on your own data. Offer acceptance rate varies based on industry as well as what you include in your calculation. As you audit your recruiting workflow, look for fluctuations in your calculation – if your offer acceptance rate does slip, there are several things you can do to increase it.

How to increase your offer acceptance rate

1. Craft a competitive offer

Verifying that your offer is competitive within your industry is the first step in improving your offer acceptance rate. Today’s workforce is a competitive landscape, and the rise of virtual work gives companies a broader range of candidates to hire from since they are no longer limited by those within a reasonable commute or with the flexibility to relocate. 

Your offer doesn’t simply include salary, although it is certainly important. It also includes other benefits such as health care and time off, as well as a variety of factors like flexible scheduling and office culture. An effective job offer is well-rounded. 

There are several ways to research job offer standards in your industry, but likely, the easiest one is to find similar job postings on job sites such as Indeed and Monster. Some job postings may not have the salary listed but many will as it is a good practice for creating a job description. Including your salary offering in your job description could help increase your offer acceptance rate as none of your candidates will be caught off guard.

2. Pitch the job to the candidate

Most job candidates will have applied to multiple positions and just as you are evaluating a number of candidates for the position, they are evaluating multiple positions. If you feel strongly about a candidate, sell them on why your organization is the best option for them.

Throughout the interview process get to know your candidates; what their interests are, what they are looking for in a position, and, most importantly, what motivates them. Knowing this about the candidate makes it possible to tailor your offer to them, thus making it more appealing and improving your offer acceptance rate.

3. Conduct a survey

The most reliable information comes firsthand and if you have enough candidates for an effective sample size, a survey is a great way to make the most of missed opportunities. Create a short survey to send to candidates who reject your offer. The survey shouldn’t take a significant amount of time; keep it limited to that one question or include a couple of questions about the overall candidate experience. One simple way to create a survey is to modify your applicant exit survey. Send the survey out immediately after you have heard back on the job offer for the best response rate.

In this scenario, you can be straightforward and ask candidates what led to them declining the offer. As the candidate is no longer under evaluation by your organization, they have the freedom to be straightforward as well. However you decide to conduct the survey, the most important thing is to keep it simple to maximize your responses.

4. Get creative with your job sourcing

One common trap hiring managers fall into is thinking that a candidate must fit every qualification that they have come up with. This leads to non-traditional candidates being undervalued and overlooked due to a perceived lack of experience. But job fit is based on much more than experience and hard skills. 

Fortunately, soft skills are a much better indicator of success than hard skills. Focusing on soft skills in your hiring and using proper evaluation methods allows you to source eager candidates from all backgrounds – thus expanding your talent pool. Using tools such as Pre-Hire Assessments then can help you screen candidates for job fit on the front end of your hiring process so you can be sure they will be successful on the job.

5. Have the manager reach out to the candidate personally

Cangrade’s Director of Customer Success, Jen Rifkin, states it succinctly when she says “The old adage – people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers could ring true in this case as well; people don’t accept jobs, they accept managers, and culture as well.” Having the manager reach out signals to the candidate they are wanted on the team, it’s not simply an HR team doing its job by filling a role. The manager can also speak to the culture of both the company and their direct team. 

Improving your offer acceptance rate can provide excellent returns on the level of talent within your organization, as well as your overall talent brand. As you begin improving your offer acceptance rate, you can turn to other areas of the recruitment process to increase your talent as well. Read our tips on how to consistently evaluate and improve your candidate experience.