Recruitment Expert Lou Adler’s Top 3 Handy Tips for a Higher Job Offer Acceptance Rate

“By asking candidates the right questions and putting them to the test during the interview process, you’ll have better insight into whether your offer will be accepted or rejected.”

Lou Adler
Founder & CEO, Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems
Higher Offer Acceptance Rate


Hiring the best talent, whether active or passive, requires exceptional recruiting skills. Right from sourcing to getting the candidate through the door, immense effort and money are at stake. Along with recruiters, employers are also highly aggressive when it comes to getting top talent and do not shy away from getting into bidding wars for the strongest candidates with the largest possible compensation packages. 

Unfortunately, all this goes in vain, and the process begins anew if the candidate doesn’t buy what you’re selling. 

So, to help you increase your job offer acceptance rate and perfect your pitch, here, I’m spilling some beans on how I ensure that a candidate always accepts my offer.

1. Stop the Churn & Close More Offers

To stop the last-minute churn and close more offers, here’s what I recommend:

You should never make an offer until you’re 100% sure a candidate will accept it and that they won’t give in to another counteroffer. You can achieve this by testing a candidate’s interests before formalizing the job offer.  

2. How Serious Are They About the Job?

Assuming the candidate has indicated serious interest after the first round of interviews, you can test their enthusiasm for the role with this simple question: 

“When do you think you could start if we put together an acceptable offer?” 

Several tests help gauge a candidate’s interest, but what I call “the start date test” is a great way to cut straight to the chase. 

If the candidate gives specific details about a start date, it’s a clear sign that they’re interested. On the other hand, if they’re vague or evasive, it’s a dead giveaway that they’re not serious about the role.

3. Identify a Successful Hire with the 1-to-10 Test

Once you’ve identified a strong candidate, ask them how they would rank the open role compared to other opportunities they’re considering. 

If you’ve done your sourcing and interviewing correctly, the candidate will likely rank your opening in the 8-to-9 range. 

Once they reach the final stage, ask your candidate what would make them rank your role a ten among other roles they’re considering, including a potential counteroffer.

A 1-to-10 test will increase your odds of hiring the right candidate. 

If a candidate is seriously interested, they’ll likely ask for more information, including details about the role, the leadership team, available resources, opportunities for career growth, and the compensation and benefits package. 

Regardless of what information they’re looking for, you’ll know what you need to address to close the deal.

Closing upon a concern is a common sales technique that can be used to test the validity of any issue the candidate raises. 

For example, suppose the candidate is concerned that the resources available might be insufficient. In that case, you can say, “If we can address this issue to your satisfaction, would you be willing to become a finalist for this role?” 

If the candidate is vague about making a soft commitment, the concern is probably a smokescreen for a bigger problem. But, of course, if the candidate agrees to this condition, you need to clearly express how you’ll address and solve the issue they raised.

By asking candidates the right questions and putting them to the test during the interview process, you’ll have better insight into whether your offer will be accepted or rejected

I recommend only formalizing an offer once everything has been discussed and agreed upon as a condition for proceeding. 

When it comes to hiring the best talent, the end game is not sourcing or interviewing; it’s always closing the deal on fair and equitable terms!

Happy recruiting 🙂 


Lou Adler

Lou is the CEO and founder of Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems– a consulting  and training firm helping recruiters and hiring managers around the world source, interview, and hire the strongest and most diverse talent. The company’s mobile-ready Win-Win Hiring learning platform provides instant access to all of the tools needed to find and hire outstanding talent. He’s the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire with Your HeadThe Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired and LinkedIn Learning’s Performance-based Hiring video training program. Adler is one of the top bloggers on LinkedIn’s Influencer program writing about the latest trends in hiring, employment, and recruiting. His articles, quotes, and research can now be found in Inc.  MagazineBusiness Insider, Bloomberg, SHRM, and The Wall Street Journal.


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