Here Are the Reasons Your Job Offers Get Turned Down

October 17, 2016

There are few things more frustrating than to finally find the perfect candidate, extend them a job offer, and have them say “thanks, but no thanks.” But with competition for top talent only getting tougher, recruiters will be experiencing this scenario more and more often.

However, if you understand the reasons why a candidate rejected (or may reject) your job offer, you can use that knowledge to make necessary changes in your hiring process in order to hear more “I'll take it!"

That said, here are the six main reasons why candidates turn down job offers and what you can do to prevent them from saying no to yours:

1. They were playing the field and accepted another offer

Most candidates prefer to have more than one option when they are contemplating a career change in order to feel like they have choices and back up plans. And today, candidates can easily identify other opportunities utilizing job boards, website postings, social media - plus networking and technology has made it simple for them to apply to anything.

It's important to keep in mind that although the candidate may not have been conducting an active search at the time of your first interview, this can change quickly. That’s why it’s important to start every subsequent conversation with, “Has anything changed since the last time we talked?” This can help you identify any red flags that could cause you to lose a successful hire.

2. They accepted a counter-offer from their current employer

A counter-offer represents an individual’s next promotion and raise at their company. And, the percentage of counter-offers extended and accepted has escalated due to the lack of top talent.

This issue should be discussed throughout your interviewing process. You can’t waste your valuable time on candidates who will use your offer to leverage a counter-offer from their current employer.

To avoid this, ask candidates the following question, “What are five things you would change, if you were your boss?” The answer to this question reveals the real reason they are interviewing. There is something they can’t change at their current or last place of employment. Compensation and advancement are always part of the conversation, but it is the things they don’t like and can’t control that will motivate them to accept your offer.

3. You didn’t sell them on the role or your company

The answers given in an initial interview are sometimes guarded answers and often change.  Re-ask pertinent questions to make sure you understand what must be there for this individual to accept your offer. Reviewing their reasons for past job changes will also provide insight in their priorities.

Once you understand what is most important to each candidate, give specific examples of how the role and your company provides specifically what is most important to them. Give them selling points about your company that are not listed on your website. Share retention stats and advancement potential. If possible, give specific examples of how someone with similar credentials experienced great career growth in areas that are important to this specific candidate.

4. They didn't click with their potential boss 

People want to work for a company and a person they can respect. Candidates assume that they are experiencing a person’s best when they are being interviewed. If they are uncomfortable, feel pressured or just don’t click with the individual who will be their boss, there is not much you can do to extend an offer that will be accepted.

Exit interviews reveal the reasons why people leave their current job, which many times has little to do with the position or company. The person is quitting because they did not like their boss. It is critical for you to talk to these people and uncover a person’s favorite boss and why as well as the supervisor they liked least and why. This will help you determine if the personality and management style of your hiring authority and the candidate will click before going through the interview process. 

5. The interview process was subpar

Your interviewing process can hurt or help your ability to extend offers that are accepted.  Timing is critical to your success, which is why it’s important to obtain a specific target date to hire from your hiring authorities. If you begin your recruiting process too early or too late, you will not attract the best talent who will accept your offer.

When the interview process takes too long, your candidates will interview for other opportunities and often view delays in the hiring process as a lack of interest.

When you have identified a rock star candidate, it is critical to escalate the hiring process. A delayed hiring process has cost many companies the benefits of hiring the best talent. Some companies are not even requiring an application to be completed and instead are utilizing the persons LinkedIn profile to spead things up.

6. The compenstation package was not good enough

Compensation and benefits always impact the decision whether to accept or reject a job offer. If a candidate feels they are being low-balled, they will reject an offer. If the cost and deductibles of a benefit package are high, they will reject an offer unless the salary offered compensates for the costs.

Pre-close your candidates on money, so you know before you ever extend an offer exactly what an individual will accept without hesitation. You must clarify details on compensation and benefits throughout the entire interview process. Often salary demands increase and you don’t want to be blind-sighted or have your job offer declined.

Often, making subtle adjustments in these six areas of your hiring process can greatly improve the percentages of your offers that are extended and accepted.

*Image from Death to the Stock Photo

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