Why are people turning down your job offers?

The recruitment process can be frustrating. 

From mild irritation to flown-blown rage! But there is nothing quite as frustrating as finding the candidate of your dreams only for them to turn down your offer!

So why does it happen and what can you do to try and make sure it doesn’t happen to you?

Here are the Top 5 reasons that candidates turn down job offers:

1. Bad interview experience!

Yep, interviews are THAT important. Candidates are in demand. They have options. If they are meeting you for an interview, the chances are that they are meeting other firms too. A good interview experience can turn a role from a ‘maybe’ to a ‘sign me up!’ and vice versa. 

TOP TIP: Review your interview experience! Would the current experience make you want to join the company? Are the interviewers well prepared? How good are they at selling the company and the opportunity? 

2. You took too long!

We all want choice. Having options helps us to make an informed decision. But sometimes, you must strike when the iron is hot. If you see a great candidate that you feel could do the role and add value, you must try and secure them. 

Candidates want to feel wanted. If another firm meets them and acts quickly to secure them, guess what, they will feel more wanted than you… “ we like you but we just want to make sure there isn’t someone even better out there before we offer”.

TOP TIP: Don’t let top talent get away from you. Weigh up each candidate against the role and not against other people! 

3. You don’t get the offer right the first time!

Who doesn’t love a bargain, right?! But trying to get a bargain when hiring usually backfires. 

Most interviews include the salary expectations chat. When a candidate tells you what they expect it’s up to you to decide if you think their skillset and experience are worth that. If not, no worries, don’t offer them the role. But please (I’m on my knees pleading), DON’T test them at 10% lower than their expectations to see if they accept. It. Will. Not. End. Well. 

TOP TIP: Make your first offer your best & final offer. Show candidates that you really want them and that starts with getting the offer right, first time.  

4. There is a surprise in the offer!

There should be no surprises when the offer letter comes through. Everything from benefits, working hours, hybrid working policy, pension contributions, holiday entitlement etc. should be covered before the offer goes out. 

Salary is very important, but for a lot of people it’s about the whole package and if there are any surprises in the offer then this can be determinantal to your chances of securing that person.

TOP TIP: Do you know all of the benefits of the role you are recruiting for? Can you articulate them and sell them? Do you make sure this is part of the interview process? If you answered ‘No’ to any of the above, take the time to turn it into a YES!

5. They have researched your company on Glassdoor or Google Reviews

As candidates get to the closing stages of a process, they open up to family and friends about the possibility of a new job. They also start to dig deep and fact-find to make sure they are making the right decision. 

If your Glassdoor site or Google Reviews are not positive, this can taint their view of the company. If you have lots of reviews, they start to tell a bit of a tale about what it’s like to work there. 

So make sure to look yourself at what the external perception is about your firm. Do you feel it’s an accurate representation of the company? 

TOP TIP: Look regularly at the external perception of your firm on sites like Glassdoor and Google Reviews. Ask your current employees to write reviews so there is a good balance between people that work there currently and those that have left. 

In summary…

Of course, there are times when you can do all of the above perfectly and your offer still doesn’t get accepted. Sometimes you just get beaten by a better offer from elsewhere. Sometimes your role or company is the second choice for the candidate. 

That’s life and there is little you can do about that. 

But there is plenty you can do to make sure you put yourself in the best position for your offers to get accepted. A little more time, effort and preparation can make all the difference. 

For advice on improving your hiring process, I’ll happily meet you for a chat – just get in touch with me using the below.



Kris Flanagan iMultiply

Written by Kris Flanagan.

Click here to email Kris, or click here to meet the rest of the team.

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