What Should You Do If Your Best Candidate Rejects Your Salary Offer?

Finding a great legal support candidate isn’t easy. When you’ve found someone with the experience, skills, and personality to make a great addition to your team, you want them to accept your offer quickly. What do you do if their first response is “That’s not going to work for me”?

A candidate rejecting your salary offer may not be common, but it’s not unlikely, either. Here’s how to understand salary rejections and respond productively.

Why Do Candidates Reject Salary Offers?

Top candidates may reject a salary offer because it is not competitive within the industry or the area, because it doesn’t justify a switch from their current employer, or because they are weighing multiple offers from potential employers. Each of these objections may be overcome – often, within the constraints of the firm or department budget.

How to Respond to Rejection

If your top candidate turns down your initial salary offer, here are some ways to respond:

  1. Ask why. Understanding the candidate’s reasoning can help you choose the most productive method for overcoming the objection. For instance, if the offer isn’t competitive, hiring managers may need to conduct additional research in order to adjust the numbers. If the candidate is hesitant to make a switch for little or no increase in pay, incentives like a moving bonus or nontraditional benefits may improve the reception of the offer.
  2. Consider nontraditional benefits options. Work-life balance is crucial to increasing numbers of professionals, so focus on this area when building a benefits package. Flex time, telecommuting options, extra vacation days, paid travel to conferences, or paid educational opportunities may all convince a motivated, top-performing candidate that your organization cares about their continued growth and will actively support it.
  3. Talk to your recruiter. Recruiting firms dedicate considerable time and energy to analyzing competitive salaries and benefits in the areas and industries they serve. Your recruiter can help you create a package that top candidates are more likely to accept. Partnering with a recruiter also gives you the added benefit of having them be an intermediary between you and the candidate, and they are able to “sell” your company and the position to the candidate when an offer is extended.

At Kent Legal, our Toronto-based recruiters focus on recommending candidates who offer the best combination of legal support skills and cultural “fit.” Contact us today to learn more.

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