20 Metrics in 20 Days- Day 2: Acceptance Rate

Day 2 in our series of 20 consecutive posts on HR metrics: Acceptance Rate


Acceptance Rate is the percentage of candidate offers accepted.


$latex {Acceptance\ Rate\ = \frac{\#\ Offers\ Accepted }{\#\ Offers\ Extended}\ * 100\%}&s=2$

We multiply by 100% to simply convert the proportion to a percentage.

Why You Should Care

The recruiting and interview process is time consuming and costly. If an organization is identifying quality candidates and then losing out at the last step, it signals a disconnect between the quality of the offer and the opportunity the company thinks it is extending versus the candidate’s perception.

Suggested Analyses

  • Key comparisons:
    • By business area (Sales, IT, HR, etc)
    • By seniority/ hierarchy of the open role
    • By region of the country (if you have multiple locations)

Actions and Considerations

It is also helpful to specifically consider the state of the local economy and local competitors. In times of low unemployment, organizations are competing fiercely against one another. Candidates are aware when their skills are in demand so offers need to be especially competitive to attract (and retain) top talent.

There are many reasons that candidates decline offers. Below are some possible areas for action if you find you are consistently failing to land candidates.

  • Money and Compensation: Are you offering competitive wages and a competitive total compensation package?
  • Communication: Are you maintaining consistent contact with the candidate throughout the process or are there dead zones in your communications?
  • Candidate interview experience: Did they have a chance to meet members of their future team and talk with leaders about direction and future opportunities? Did they leave the interview with a clear vision of what the job will actually be?
  • Offer delay: Nothing is more damaging to a candidate relationship than an extended delay between completion of the interviews and a job offer.

Speaking of delay, I would also strongly suggest tracking the days between the interview and the extension of the offer if you are not already doing so.

It’s tough to say what your acceptance rate should be as it really depends on many factors but generally you should be aiming for 90% or higher.

Additional Resources

  • SHRM benchmarking for acceptance rate (see slide 12) for important talent acquisition metrics.
  • Some additional benchmarks for acceptance rates from the National Association of Colleges and Employers can be found here.
  • Great additional information and resources on Acceptance Rate and other metrics from Workable.

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