Exploding Offers – Hiring Managers Beware!

2020 proved to be challenging in many ways however, 2021 is bringing disruption to the talent market in full force. As organizations look to get back on track, they are struggling to find talent amongst the large candidate pool. Gone are the days of traditional recruitment efforts as talent acquisition teams are looking for solutions to identify top talent. With talent market trends changing the demands for future employees such as internal mobility, wellbeing, learning and development, sign on incentives and remote work, numerous organizations have resorted to high-pressure hiring tactics in order to secure new employees. But how do these tactics affect the overall recruiting process and the decisions made of prospective new hires?  

Exploding offers

“When comparing long deadlines to short “exploding” deadlines, 8-13% of recruiting efficiency is affected”

With the ever-increasing pressure recruiters are feeling to hire top talent in an ultra-competitive marketplace, many talent acquisition teams are using “The Exploding Offer” tactic to put high pressure on candidates. An exploding offer is one that expires and rescinded by a date that is usually a week (or even 24 – 48 hours) from the date the offer letter is sent to the candidate. Exploding Offers push ambivalent employees through the recruitment process quicker – saving the employer time and money. Tapping into the candidates’ emotions, this tactic also makes them feel a sense of urgency (“If I don’t take this job right now, someone else will!”). If a candidate is rushed into making a decision, they are likely to continue searching for opportunities elsewhere, to be unmotivated or quit after a brief time. In fact, when comparing long deadlines to short “exploding” deadlines, 8-13% of recruiting efficiency is affected therefore, candidates are not landing roles that fit their skills and recruiting teams are missing out on their top-choice candidates.  

Employer Branding

With the volume of hiring back to pre-pandemic levels, having an employer brand that stands out in a candidate driven market is crucial in order to attract top talent. Exploding offers send a message that an organization is desperate for talent and do not have preference for who they offer the job to, since they are willing to withdraw the offer so quickly. This can be damaging to an organization’s employer brand or EVP. We are in an era where candidates and current employees can share instant feedback on career review sites such as Glassdoor.com. If an organization takes shortcuts in their recruitment process, this will be reflected by reviews and damage the organizations brand they have worked hard to maintain. In order to avoid this, it is important for organizations to consider why they are using high pressure tactics and instead, invest time on making their offers genuine and more attractive. A strong EVP to convey during the interviewing process combines extrinsic motivators such as pay, bonuses and benefits alongside intrinsic motivators such as learning and personal development, work environment and flexibility.


One of the earliest interactions an employee has with an employer is during the recruitment process. During this time, it is important to make sure the candidate feels as though they are being treated with respect and understand they have a long-term relationship with the organization. In many instances, mistreatment during the recruitment process can lead an applicant to decline an employment offer and seek employment elsewhere. When an applicant declines an employment offer because of how they were treated, the organization loses a potential valuable employee and has to begin the recruitment process over. On the other hand, if the candidate takes the position after being under duress the likelihood of turnover due to manager and employee relations increases. Onboarding and training a new employee takes time and resources away from your hiring team therefore, it is important to get it right the first time and avoid a tremendous opportunity cost loss.

Do you recognize any of the challenges described? Contact our expert talent team to lend help in filling challenging roles, improve your employer branding, reduce turnover and more!