HR Discussion: How Do You Control ‘Offer Declines’ As a Recruiter?


I’ve been working as a recruiter for many years with a recruitment firm. Recently I went for an interview where I had applied for a Sr. recruiter positon. There, the interviewer asked me: how do you control your offer declines as a recruiter? Though I’ve been into this field for many years, I fumbled while answering, I was almost clueless about the answer. What do you think, what could be the right answer to this question?

Offer declines can become very discouraging and frustrating for any recruiter, whether the recruiter is highly skilled or just stepped into the field. Candidates with offers have their own mind, and they are free to decide whatever is best for them. They are the customers, and they are never wrong.

All we can do as a recruiter to decrease the number of declines is control. We, whatever we do, cannot bring the offer declines numbers to zero. But, we can bring it to 2 or 3 out of ten.

We have to be careful at the sourcing and screening stage. This is the stage where we can do our best as a skilled recruiter to bring down to offer declines. We, as an experienced recruiter, must use our intuition, most importantly our experience and skills.

Before calling a candidate or sending a mail to the candidate, ask yourself: will this guy join my company and the brand? How much this guy will expect from my company based on his current CTC? Will office distance cause any issue? Why is he changing his job after all? How does he respond to my email & calls, actively or just ignores my emails or calls? Is his involvement in the process satisfactory? You can add more such questions based on the situation to understand the candidate’s position.

Based on these data available, just like AI or Machine Learning technologies, you can logically predict if this candidate is going to accept the offer or decline it.

Remember, you cannot bring the offer declines to zero, but you can surely decrease the numbers significantly.