2 Birds… and 7 Reasons Job Seekers Turn Down Job Offers

Unemployment remains stubbornly high, yet sales Hiring Managers are really struggling to find top sales people. The reality is that the actual sales-specific unemployment rate is lower than the 8.5% level recently reported.

One real sign of this is that sales Hiring Managers are experiencing a sudden spike in the number of candidates who receive and then reject their job offers. This adds pressure to the need to build deeper funnels of candidates who are the right fit; this is increasingly difficult and budget intensive given the tightening in the sales-specific job market.

We know that in sales, increasing the conversion rate of existing leads to deals is more cost effective than increasing new lead flow (although both are important). Likewise, increasing the conversion rate of job offers to new hires is also the cost effective strategy.

There are several variables that impact the hiring process. Some aspects such as location and compensation will always affect hiring strategy and outcomes.

Additionally, here are 7 Reasons that Job Seekers Turn Down Job Offers:

1) Counter Offer

Employers are more willing to bite the bullet and make a counter offer to retain a producer. This is the result of a tightening market. Sales Hiring Managers need to qualify the potential risk of a counter offer with candidates as they progress through the process. In many cases, the candidate is well served by having time to think through the intended and unintended consequences of accepting a counter offer.

2) Better Offer

Candidates are increasingly receiving more than one offer. Those sales Hiring Managers who are doing a good job of qualifying candidates on other opportunities that they are pursuing are better positioned to make appropriate offers and emerge with a win.

3) Process Efficiency

Naturally, if you are pursuing a sales person and a competing company reaches the finish line sooner, that company will probably win. My mother always uses the "bird in the hand is better than two in the bush" proverb (honestly, I didn't even understand that one: who holds birds? My Mother would never have let me even if I wanted to). The point is that many sales people are unlikely to wait for another offer especially if the offer in hand is a good fit. Sales Hiring Managers are tightening their processes to ensure consistency. Consistent, tight, hiring processes are also better understood internally and lead to more effective candidate communication.

4) Expectation Setting

Failing to set expectations can also diminish the outcome, particularly regarding the steps and speed of the process, the specific role, and compensation. Sales Hiring Managers had more time to vet candidates, and make decisions about the path forward, with less competition for talent during the economic down turn. Redirecting a candidate towards a Business Development role, for instance, after initially interviewing for a hunter/closing role with higher comp, is likely to end badly in 2012.

5) Surprises and Inconsistencies

The other side of the expectation setting coin… Good candidates are qualifying sales Hiring Managers throughout the process regarding role and compensation, and also the steps within the hiring process. Delivering inconsistent information can quickly turn off candidates especially regarding these and other dimensions such as corporate culture and environment. Are the members of your interview team on the same page and delivering consistent information? Surprises, such as delivering an offer that reflects new compensation or manager/report structure information can trigger fear, uncertainty and doubt. And, once again, missteps of this nature are fatal if you are competing for the candidate.

6) Word on the Street

Your candidates are engaging with other people (including with your current and former employees) on social Channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Candidates are reading about the culture and reputation of prospective employers on GlassDoor. Your job posts will attract comments and social engagement. It is important to understand what is recorded on the internet and it also important to actively affect the narrative. You can appoint ambassadors who can help engage candidates on the social channels. Hiring Managers should be qualifying candidates to understand their thoughts and perceptions prior to making offers. Learning about concerns in this area after the offer is delivered is probably too late. Please follow www.DADOMATCH.COM/blog regarding Social Hiring.

7) Environment and Fit

Candidates, whether they mention it or not, consider working environment and culture when seeking a new sales job. Certain, key, deterministic characteristics are reflected on every DADO Social Resume. Click here to see a sample DADO Social Resume. For example, Value versus Volume is one of many characteristics reflected. In part, some candidates are comfortable with high contact volumes and making calls in a noisy bullpen or multi-tasking on the road. It is important for both candidate and sales Hiring Managers to find the right fit.

First, start the process with relevant candidates. Tools such as DADO provide a valuable lens through which to spot relevant candidates. Second, actively communicate with the candidate about these key dimensions and characteristics. It is possible that the candidate is well aligned with the role and environment but for some reason perceives a mismatch. Open communication before the job offer is delivered can make a difference. Delivering this positioning after the offer is made is likely to have less credibility and be perceived as just a pitch to get the candidate to say "yes".

Treeline, Inc. (www.treelineinc.com) is recognized as an award-winning sales-focused executive search firm. Treeline is also the developer of DADOMATCH.COM, a first of its kind Social Hiring platform that fuses 21st century social technologies and behaviors, and hiring best practices.


Published On: January 16th, 2012Categories: Blog News, Job Search and Career, Sales Success

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