Job offer rejections are on the rise in this crazy competitive job market. What can employers and hiring managers do reduce this headache or avoid it altogether?

Kristin Hughes, Shelley Casino and Ben Coan—three recruiting experts with Odyssey Information Services—participated in a LinkedIn Live webcast where they discussed hiring best practices that will help organizations reduce the high number of job offer rejections, land the top IT talent and retain their current employees.

Click the image below to watch the full video:

Tip #1. Discover motivators for each candidate

Before jumping into an interview, the talent acquisition team—everyone from the recruiter to the hiring manager—should take a few moments to really understand what the candidate wants from your job opportunity.

What are the hot button issues with their current job situation? What’s motivating them to find a new opportunity?

Knowing this information will help ensure this opportunity is a good match for both your organization and the candidate, and it will help you present a strong offer that will be hard to turn down.

Employers need to give every candidate a great interviewing experience. While you’re talking to candidates, you should focus less on checking all the boxes in your job description and focus more on getting to know each candidate as a person.

If a hiring manager is talking to a candidate, they need to be doing more than just checking the boxes to see if the candidate has the right skills. They need to get to know the candidate as a person. Managers and recruiters need to really know what the candidates want. I think the more they understand what their hot buttons are, what’s motivating them on their next opportunity—that’s really going to help them present a good offer. —Shelley Casino, Director of Recruiting, Odyssey Information Services

Tip #2. Be adaptive with your job interview process

Employers nowadays don’t have the luxury of sending candidates through a long interview process because IT professionals are flying off the market like they’re the popular toy at Christmas.

If you’re still requiring multiple rounds of interviews, chances are those candidates will accept another offer before they see yours. It’s important for businesses to adapt their interview process to meet the demands of the market.

For example, some of Odyssey’s clients have shortened their interview process from three rounds to just one because they have missed out on quality candidates who accepted other offers within days of scheduling their interview.

However, if you are unable to shorten the interview process, then it’s important to set expectations with the candidate. Let them know up front how long the process will last and ask them if they’re willing to move forward. Honesty goes a long way and could be the difference between an offer acceptance and offer rejection.

Don’t be rigid in your process. Be adaptive. We’ve had clients here recently that originally, they wanted to have a three-interview process but they narrowed it down to one because they were seeing people go off the market in three or four days after getting multiple offers. Our clients chose to focus on getting what they can quicker. —Ben Coan, Business Development Manager, Odyssey Information Services

Tip #3. Learn from your rejected job offers

Getting mad at an offer reject is not the best way to respond. Instead, take this opportunity to understand what went wrong and how you can improve your process.

Are your offers being rejected because of money? Is the interview process too long? Are your interviews not personalized to each candidate?

Communication with the candidates and and your talent acquisition team (or recruiting firm, if you’re partnering with one) is key to landing those qualified people.

“I think managers are past the mad stage on not accepting their offers. It’s more of what can we do as an employer to make make things better. And the only way they can make things better is by listening to the people that they’re interviewing and us to explain why they’re not getting those qualified people. And so they know what to expect and cater that conversation to that individual and not just do a cookie-cutter approach to an interview. They’ve got to make it more personal, and I think that’ll help reduce those offer rejects.” —Ben Coan, Business Development Manager,  Odyssey Information Services

Tip #4. Get to know candidates on a personal level

Don’t go into every interview with a cookie-cutter approach. Every candidate has a different reason to be interested in your job opportunity and your organization.

Use that first interview to really get to know the candidate on a personal level.

Instead of focusing on your specific job qualifications, ask them how they like to work. Or ask them about their favorite projects or career goals.

You want to make the candidate feel confident that this job is the right fit for them and they’ll have the opportunity to grow and make a real difference.

I’ve seen candidates accept lower salaries compared to another offer because they didn’t really get the sense they were joining a company where they were going to be able to achieve their goals, grow or learn. —Kristin Hughes, Director of Recruiting, Odyssey Information Services

Tip #5. Relate to the candidate

Employers need to provide a good candidate experience by sharing with them details about the company. Tell them about your company’s culture. What is the position like? What is the team like?

Share your personal story with the company. How did you start with the company? How does the company promote from within? What do you like about the company?

Every company is looking for the same skill sets. Creating a personalized interview experience will help your company stand out and increase your chances that the candidate will accept your offer.

“I feel like a lot of the employers were so worried about getting the right skilled candidate, and checking all the boxes for all the skills, they’re forgetting that they need to sell their opportunity. You know, that the candidate is also interviewing them. They’re interviewing the candidate but the candidate is interviewing them and trying to decide if  this is a company thy want to go to work for. So the employer mindset really needs to change in the sense of yes, we want to get the best candidate but to get the best candidate we’re going to have to put our best foot forward and really tell them why our company is a company they’d want to come to work for. —Shelley Casino, Director of Recruiting, Odyssey Information Services