Three Reasons Why Candidates Turn Down Job Offers

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After weeks of reviewing hundreds of resumes and conducting numerous interviews, you finally identify your ideal candidate. Excited, you deliver the good news, and then the unexpected happens: the candidate declines your offer! HR professionals dread this scenario where they lose the candidate of their choice. They’ve wasted time, energy and resources and are now back to square one.

Every company wants to hire the best talent. The better the talent, the higher your productivity and earnings. But did you know that you could be doing certain things that can cause top talent to turn down your job offers?

Hiring companies should consider the following three reasons why candidates may turn down job offers.

1. Your Offer Just Wasn’t Good Enough

We have all heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.”

If you are aiming for top talent, you should know that the best-quality talent comes at a price. You will drive top talent away if your offer is too low, and then you may end up with a candidate who is not nearly as qualified as you desired.

If you want to hire the best, make them an offer they will readily accept. Research and compare salaries, bonuses, incentives and benefits your competitors are giving their employees. Be aware that today, with the help of sites like, candidates can easily find out if your offer is fair or under market range.

Throughout the interviewing process, you must ensure you are having discussions with the candidate about their existing compensation and benefits. You will then understand their expectations and requirements regarding both items.

Most important, do NOT make a lowball offer you think the candidate may decline. To successfully hire the best, you must offer the best.

Ask yourself what top talent is worth it to you. Are you prepared to lose top talent because you aren’t willing to increase compensation by a couple of thousand dollars to justify a difference in your benefits program?

2. Your Recruiting Process Took Too Long

Don’t forget that you are likely not the only organization interviewing the candidate. In a competitive job market, top talent receives more than one job offer. If you are not quick enough, you might be the losing party.

Once candidates are shortlisted, maintain strong communication with them. Whether you have chosen to hire them or are still waiting for top management’s final decision, always keep them informed on the latest update to maintain their interest.

Your recruiting process is critical to your success. Remember that candidates evaluate your company as much as you assess them during the interviewing process.

Your recruiting process should make candidates keen and excited to work for you. Avoid disorganized scheduling that allows for long periods of communication time to elapse between you and the candidate.

Before doing anything else, review your recruiting process and make necessary changes to ensure a positive and forward-moving experience for all candidates.

3. You’re Making a Bad Impression

You can improve your recruiting method to ensure that the process is seamless, productive, and exciting for your candidates. For example, suppose the hiring process is messy, disorganized, or handled in a manner deemed incompetent. When that happens, your candidate will lose enthusiasm for working in your organization and move on to another opportunity.

Remember, the interviewing process is not only the first impression for the candidate but also for the manager. You are interviewing an individual who will potentially work for you, see and speak with you five days a week for at least eight hours a day. Therefore, you better believe the candidate will assess you and their ability to work for you as much as you consider them.

So, keep your interviews and communication with top talent optimistic and true to your company’s culture. Regrettably, managers sometimes fall into a standoffish mode, forgetting to smile, and not allowing the conversation to flow during the interview. Be aware, and don’t fall into this trap! Top talent will likely NOT enjoy working for someone who seldom smiles or doesn’t show interest in their employees.


Although the above may be some of the common reasons that candidates turn down job offers, there are times when candidates have no choice but to reject your offer due to personal reasons. Regardless of the reason, it is not the end of the world when a candidate turns you down. However, it would be best if you handled the rejection discreetly and professionally, leaving a good lasting impression for the candidate to remember your organization.

ALIGN has all the experience and skills to help you find the best candidates for your business, so give us a call to discuss how we can help.

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