OAR – Offer Acceptance Rate

Not the reggae jam band or the rounded piece of wood used for moving a boat through the water, OAR in the recruiting industry is your Offer Acceptance Rate. The OAR is used to measure success when offering positions to top talent. Measuring your OAR is an important piece of your recruiting puzzle. Yes, attracting the best candidates to apply to your position is important, but none of that matters if you can’t get them to sign the dotted line. 

To calculate your OAR, use this formula:

90% = good cause to believe your process works well
30% or lower and your hiring process is in trouble

These percentages represent a wide range and there is no specific number for an average. Your OAR depends on the position you are hiring for and the level of competition. It’s difficult to find the right applicants for certain positions, some are very competitive and others require specific licenses or education levels, not many people posses. The point of measuring your OAR is to keep track of how successful your hiring tactics are over time and to then use those metrics to improve.  

So, why are job candidates declining your job offer? There are many contributing factors, but the following are a few things to look at when you see that your OAR has dropped below 30%.

Online Brand

We wrote an entire download on the subject, so you can find more specific tips there. In general, though, you need to know what people are saying about you and your company online. Negative feedback often sends good candidates to other opportunities.

Competitive Compensation

Another key metric to consider is your compensation offering. If you have a low acceptance rate, you likely aren’t competitive enough. You can find competitor’s standard benefits on sites like Glassdoor, Salary.com and PayScale.com. If you aren’t competitive, it often doesn’t matter how great your place of work is, candidates will go elsewhere.


If your acceptance rate is low, look at your leadership and interviewing process. Something is turning applicants away, and if applicants can see it in the limited time spent in interviews, you likely have a much bigger problem on your hands.

Unfortunately, sometimes a rejection has nothing to do with you or the position. Occasionally professionals use job offers outside of their current position as leverage. If an employee is looking for a raise or position change, they might apply for jobs and use the offer as leverage to encourage their current employers to meet demands to keep them from leaving.

If you can’t offer more money or better benefits to encourage candidates to accept your offer, you can offer other incentives. Outline the benefits of working with your company. Make sure candidates know the company perks, culture and potential to move up in the company.

If you can offer additional perks for the right employee, consider investing in training programs or other opportunities that will benefit your organization, but also benefit the candidate in training they can take with them wherever they go.

Finding Your OAR

So, what is success to you? If you’re hiring for a competitive or a very technical role, sourcing recruits in the first place is difficult, let alone competing with other companies to get the applicant to sign on the bottom line.

Before you get down on yourself for a comparatively low offer acceptance rate, keep your specific business challenges in mind. Some companies, specifically smaller companies, might not have the competitive salary flexibility of other organizations. You do, however, have options in attracting the right people for your company, in turn, increasing your OAR.

Most importantly, you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. Take a few minutes and put your offer acceptance rate under the microscope. If you aren’t meeting your hiring goals, it might be time to rethink your strategy, job description, and competitive advantage. Arm yourself with the right tools to not only attract top talent but get them want to work for your organization above others.

No matter where you are in the recruiting process, if you need help getting started, don’t hesitate to reach out.  We’re happy to help!

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