5 reasons why candidates decline your job offers


After weeks of scrutinising through hundreds of resumes and conducting countless of interviews, you finally found your perfect candidate. Just when you offer the good news, the unexpected happens; the candidate rejects your offer. It’s a frustrating scenario many HR professionals dread; not only have you lost the candidate of your choice and are now back to square one, you have also wasted a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources.

As the economy improves in the aftermath of the 2009 recession, jobseekers today are spoilt with job options, especially top talents, allowing them to obtain more leverage than they have ever had in years. Employers today must realise that the job market is in favour of jobseekers, and that jobseekers now have the upper hand to be choosy, and sometimes, demanding. So, what can you do to reduce the chances of being rejected by the candidate of your choice?

Let us start by exploring some of the reasons candidates decline your job offers and what you can do to prevent these from happening:

  1. Your offer wasn’t good enough

Ever heard of the saying, “You get what you pay for”? If top talent is what you are aiming for, then you should know that high-quality talent comes at a price! If your offer is low, it will only drive away top talent, and you might just end up with a candidate who isn’t as qualified as you’d hoped for.

If you genuinely want to hire the best, make them an offer they can accept. Conduct your research (using tools like JobsDB’s Career Insights) and compare among your competitors to see what compensation, salary range and benefits they provide for their employees. Do not forget that with the help of the Internet, candidates today can easily find out if you are making them an offer that is underpaying them.

  1. The job/work culture isn’t what they wanted

Some employers tend to forget that it is not just them interviewing candidates to assess if they are the right fit, it is also vice versa. Candidates are also assessing to see if the job and work culture is what they are looking for.

Pay very close attention to the questions candidates asked during the interview, particularly if these are questions pertaining to the job or work culture. If the candidate rejects you because the job isn’t what they want, it may be a blessing that they pull out earlier knowing that they aren’t the right fit. However, if you have a higher frequency of candidates declining your offer due to the work culture, then perhaps it might be time for you to reflect on what you can do to make your organisation a better place.

  1. You took too long

Always remember that you are not the only organisation that the candidate has interviewed at. In a competitive job market, top talents also tend to receive more than one job offer and if you are not quick enough, you might just be the losing party.

Once they are shortlisted, preserve a strong communication with them. Whether you have decided to hire them or are still pending the final decisions by top management, constantly remain in contact with them to keep them informed on the latest update to maintain their interest.

  1. The recruitment process was a bad experience for the candidate

Keep in mind that all candidates pay attention to your recruitment process. It is after all, the first impression that they will get about your organisation.

There are many ways you can improve on your recruitment skills to ensure that the recruitment process is seamless, fruitful and even exciting for your candidates. If the overall hiring process is messy, disorganised or handled in a manner that is deemed incompetent in some ways, your candidate will lose the enthusiasm of working in your organisation.

  1. Negative online reviews

Much like how consumers would conduct research before making a purchase, it has also become a norm for jobseekers today to conduct research on companies and organisations before making any decisions.

Although you can’t stop your former employees from posting negative reviews about your company, you can however, manage these reviews in a professional manner and work towards improving the problems that have been highlighted. You can also conduct a survey to find out which are the areas or factors that can make your current employees happy and encourage them to provide positive testimonials to further boost your company reputation.

Although the above may be some of the common reasons as to why candidates decline your job offers, there are times that these candidates are forced to reject your offer due to other personal reasons. Regardless of the reason, when a candidate turns you down, it is not the end of the world. It is important for you to handle the rejection in a tactful and professional manner, leaving a lasting good impression for the candidate to remember your organisation. Who knows, maybe in the near future, you’ll see the candidate’s name again in your next recruitment campaign?

This article is either written or edited by JobsDB HK. If you would like to publish it on other website or publication, please contact us by email: [email protected]. JobsDB reserves the right to take legal action against any person that infringes the copyright.

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