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Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions

What is the offer acceptance rate?

The offer acceptance rate is a recruiting indicator that measures how often candidates who have received a job offer from a company ultimately accepted it. The value is given as a percentage.

Why is the offer acceptance rate important?

The Offer Acceptance Rate provides insight into how often a direct job offer from a company to a candidate is actually accepted.

It is interesting to keep an eye on this metric because the height of the offer acceptance rate provides important insights about the:

  • Attractiveness of the job offer 
  • Quality of the hiring process
  • Competitiveness of the company in the war for talents 

Because whether a potential employee was recruited through a traditional job advertisement or through active talent sourcing: All the effort of screening and shortlisting was in vain (and expensive, too) if candidates ultimately reject the offer and the vacancy period is extended even further.

How is the offer acceptance rate calculated?

Calculating the offer acceptance rate is quite simple: The number of accepted job offers is divided by the number of offers made and then multiplied by 100. The formula is, therefore: 

  • Offer acceptance rate = (number of accepted offers / number of job offers made) X 100  

By the way, you can speak of a “good” offer acceptance rate from a value of 80%. Of course, an average value from several past recruitment processes should be used for this.

It is also advisable to narrow down the results to a specific period of time (month, quarter, year) to make more meaningful comparisons and to be able to recognise improvements or the need for action.

And if the offer acceptance rate is lower?

If the result of the above calculation falls below 80%, troubleshooting should be done, both in terms of the effectiveness of the recruitment process and the attractiveness of the job offer for the target group.

Besides an elaborate (but highly interesting) survey on why a job offer was ultimately rejected, the measures listed in the following section can also be used preventively and remedy the situation.

How can companies increase the acceptance rate?

The most common reasons for job offers being rejected are that they do not match the expectations of the candidate, there is a lack of transparency, or the company provides unattractive conditions (holiday entitlement, salary, working hours, etc.).

These measures can help to increase the candidate acceptance rate:

  • Improve candidate experience (communication during the process)

    Every company wants to attract talented professionals. Recruiters who have contacted their candidates quickly and regularly and guided them through the hiring pipeline achieve the best results.

    Communication is a crucial sticking point in many companies. It often takes too long, which can result in the loss of valuable candidates to the competition.

    But there is nothing wrong with taking a look at the overall candidate experience anyway and improving it if necessary. A good experience can also be helpful in building a talent pool.

  • Ensure transparency

    To avoid disappointment, recruiters should find out what candidates expect from the company during the first telephone screening—and communicate whether and to what extent these are realistic.

    They should not only talk about the salary, but also about the company culture and the individual development opportunities, because these are relevant to the decision of potential employees. Ideally, this information should already be included in the job advertisement and on the career page.

  • Listen actively

    Before companies make an offer, it is important that they listen very carefully and actively to their favoured candidates.

    This not only helps with the next point on this list, but also prevents misunderstandings and promotes trust in your company. It also strengthens the bond between the recruiter (representing the company) and the candidate.

  • Personalise the job offer

    There is no “one job offer fits all” because the needs and expectations of talents differ greatly.

    To make a job offer really attractive, it should contain individual benefits and conditions that best meet the priorities, needs, and motivations of the candidate. This can also improve employer branding.

  • Shorten the recruitment process (JOIN)

    As briefly mentioned above, another common reason why candidates turn down offers is that the recruitment process simply takes too long (see time to hire).

    Using JOIN’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help to streamline and shorten the recruitment process through effective workflows and improve their recruitment success.

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