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The offer stage of the hiring process is one of the most important and delicate parts of the process. That’s because this is when an organization extends an offer of employment and the candidate decides whether or not they’re going to accept it.

Candidate acceptance in today’s marketplace is far from a foregone conclusion. Candidates reject offers of employment every day, and they do so for a variety of reasons. So as an employer, what can you do to ensure that the candidate you want to hire agrees to your offer?

First, set expectations for the entire process from the very beginning. You must keep top candidates engaged. Second, don’t make your top pick wait for your offer. If you’ve chosen a candidate, then make your offer promptly.

Third, make sure that the offer is a true reflection of everything you’ve discussed with the candidate. Present them with the offer that they’re expecting to see and don’t be tempted to low-ball them. A grade-A candidate deserves a grade-A offer.

Fourth, give the candidate enough time to think about the offer. They may need up to a day or two to consider, and depending upon the caliber of the candidate, it will be worth your while to wait.

And fifth, if you’re working with a search consultant or recruiter, allow them to present the offer. It’s what the candidate is expecting, and if you deviate from what the candidate is expecting, it can affect their decision. I’ve seen this happen myself many times.

By implementing these suggestions, you can improve your offer-to-acceptance ratio and hire more of the candidates you want to hire.

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