How to get your job offer accepted

Have you ever reached the end of the recruitment process only to fall at the last hurdle? Perhaps you’ve made what you thought was a compelling job offer but your candidate turned it down? These scenarios are very frustrating, time consuming and costly – particularly if you have the start the recruitment process again from scratch.

We work with automotive industry employers and help guide them through the recruitment process – taking steps along the way to help achieve a successful outcome for both employer and employee. We have learnt that in order to maximise the chances of a candidate accepting a job offer, you need to take action right through the recruitment process – not just at the offer stage. This article aims to tell you exactly how you achieve this.


If you follow these steps you will be well on the way to ensuring your candidates accept your job offer.

Ask the Right Questions

If you consistently ask your candidates the right questions you will reduce the chances of your job offer falling through. Some questions to consider are:

Why are you seeking a new job?

  • People seek a new role for a variety of reasons. Deciphering their drivers early on in the process allows you to determine the likelihood of them accepting your job. Keep a note of what each candidate tells you. You may need to refer to this later (see ‘How to handle a Counter-Offer’ below).

Why our business? Why this particular role?

  • You are looking to weed out time-wasters. Genuinely interested candidates will be able to give you strong and valid reasons for wanting to work for your business. They will have researched your company and the details of the job and have an opinion on them both.

What is your current and expected package?

  • You may feel uncomfortable asking this question but its essential you ask it early on in the process. If you are using a good recruitment agency they will cover this off for you.

What is important to you in your job?

  • It is essential to understand what is important to each individual. For some, working from home or flexi-time may be far more important than salary. Equally, job security may currently factor highly on a candidate’s wish list. This knowledge will allow you to position your offer appropriately and negotiate on the areas that your candidate values.

Do you have any questions?

  • Always ask candidates if they have any questions for you. People who ask few or insignificant questions may lack genuine interested in the role. Conversely, people who ask detailed questions about the role are likely to be imagining themselves in it. This is a strong sign that your job genuinely interests them.

Research The Market

If you are recruiting a role you have not hired for in an while, ensure you know the current market conditions. Do your research:

  • If the current incumbent has resigned ask them why and where they are going. This may give you an indication on whether you have been paying market value for the role
  • Ask your recruitment consultant. If you are using an industry expert recruitment consultant they will be able to guide you on current market conditions. Take a look at the Copeland Automotive Industry Salary Guide for automotive industry salaries and packages.
  • Ask your industry contacts – they may be able to advise you on current salaries and packages
  • Be a job seeker – get on Google and start searching for similar jobs and see what you can discover

Make the Right Offer

Numerous factors will effect the package that you offer to your chosen candidate. These include your businesses salary bandings, your available budget for the role and what you feel the candidate is worth. To make sure your candidate accepts your offer, you also need to consider the following:

Does your budget match the candidate’s expectations?

If you have asked the right questions early on and confirmed what your candidate is prepared to accept you will have weeded out candidates whose expectations will never match your budget.

Be prepared to negotiate

Be prepared to move from your initial offer. Meeting your candidate in the middle can provide a win-win situation, allowing for both parties to feel contented. That being said, it is recommended to offer as strongly as you are able at the initial stage. This will make your candidate feel valued and less likely to consider a counter-offer.

Think about the entire package

What benefits can you include in your package? Refer to the answers your candidate gave you regarding what is important to them and then build in elements that will add value eg flexible working hours, working from home etc.

How To Handle a Counter-Offer

The best candidates are likely to receive a counter-offer from their current employer. It is therefore best to assume that it is likely to happen and pre-empt it. The key is to really listen hard to what your candidate is saying and take notes.

TIP: If you are using a recruitment agency they will probably have negotiated many counter-offers and will be able to advise you.

Consider the Candidate’s Point of View

It is important to be empathetic with your candidate’s position at this stage. Put yourself in your candidate’s shoes and consider how they may be feeling. If you headhunted them and they then receive a counter-offer they may be feeling flattered and perhaps over confident. You will need to hold your nerve to achieve the desired outcome.

Remind the of their initial motives

Refer to the reasons the candidate originally gave you for wanting to move roles. Counter-offers flatter candidates and financial incentives tempt them to stay with their current employer. The underlying reasons for them job hunting i.e. lack of promotional opportunities will probably not have changed and is likely to become worrisome again in a few months time. .


Your chances of securing your preferred candidate will be greatly increased if you follow this process. You will save considerable time by weeding out unsuitable candidates early on in your recruitment process. You can then focus on candidates who are genuinely interested in your vacancy.

Further Reading:

Automotive Industry Salary Guide

Create a Great Candidate Experience

Copeland are UK automotive industry recruiters. We help automotive businesses find industry expert candidates and reduce hiring times – focusing on quality over quantity. 

To learn whether we are the right agency for you see HOW WE HELP BUSINESSES. Alternatively if you’re ready to talk, get in touch: E:   T: 07973 286342

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