As a business owner or hiring manager, you certainly know that the process of vetting job candidates can be a cumbersome one. So when the time finally comes to extend an offer to a prospective hire, you really want to make sure that person will actually say yes.

Unfortunately, in today's healthy job market, there's no guarantee of that happening. In fact, it's not uncommon for applicants today to receive more than one job offer at a time. A good 59% of job seekers have had this happen, according to staffing firm Robert Half. Not only that, but 58% of professionals say that they've made the decision to accept an offer in two days or less.

Professionally dressed woman holding red folder shaking hands with professionally dressed man seated across from her


What makes a candidate choose one offer over a competing one? These are the top five reasons.

1. Salary

Not shockingly, salary is the primary driver in job candidates' decision to accept offers. If you want the edge here, do some research to see how your salaries stack up, and make sure your numbers are competitive. At the same time, it may help to reassess your company's compensation strategy to make sure you aren't losing out on valuable talent.

2. Benefits

Second to salary, benefits are an important piece of the puzzle as far as job candidates go. To this end, it could help you to think outside the box and try offering some less common benefits, like onsite wellness programs and day care. The option to bring pets to work is also a perk some candidates might really appreciate. That said, don't skimp on the classics -- you still need to offer your workers a solid health plan, plenty of paid time off, and a retirement plan. Free food also wouldn't hurt.

3. Advancement potential

Nobody wants to get stuck in a dead-end job. If you want to entice candidates to work for you, present a clear career development path from the start. Talk about advancement openly during the interview process, and bring it up again when you make your offer.

4. Commute

A bad commute can turn an otherwise positive work experience into a miserable one. That's why travel to and from a job is a big point of consideration for candidates. Now you can't just up and change your business's location to please your latest job applicants, but what you can do is offer them the option to work remotely, at least on a partial basis. The more flexible you're willing to be, the more likely your candidates are to say yes.

5. Job responsibilities

The last thing a qualified candidate wants to do is sign up to push papers or deal with dull administrative tasks all day. The actual day-to-day function of a given job will play a huge role in an applicant's decision to accept or decline, so if you want the former outcome, aim to talk up the most exciting aspects of the roles you're looking to fill. But at that same time, be honest. If an open job involves data entry and paperwork, say so. Otherwise, you'll risk having a candidate come on board, only to quit shortly thereafter when he or she grows dissatisfied.

When you're trying to hire in a competitive market, it never hurts to have a leg up over the businesses vying for the same candidates you are. Now that you know what drives candidates to accept jobs, you can target those key points so that the responses to your job offers are overwhelmingly positive.