Why Top Talents Decline Your Job Offer

You know the feeling: you interview top talents, extend an offer to the best candidate, only to be rejected by them. What went wrong, and more importantly, how can you prevent this from happening?

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You Extended An Offer - But Got Declined? Here’s why:

It’s part of the job interview game. But in all honesty, it’s one of the most frustrating situations - you invest time and resources into the recruitment process, you identify a good candidate, interview them multiple times and eventually come to the conclusion that they are a great fit. You extend an offer - only to get rejected. 

We’ve collated the main reasons potential employees reject a job offer. Find out how you can counter them and catch the signs early that you won’t be successful in hiring a new team member this time:

The paradox of choice

Simply put: Maybe it was just not meant to be. High-quality candidates are facing the paradox of choice these days, with countless opportunities presented to them every day on every channel. Often times, the sheer number of opportunities is so overwhelming that candidates don’t even know exactly where they’d like to work and what specifically they’re looking out for. So they approach the job search as more of an inspirational endeavor than a clear output-driven initiative. They are making their minds up on the go during the interview process, and you, unfortunately, bear the burden of that.

No culture fit

In today’s job seeker market, many candidates put a greater emphasis on softer factors, such as the work atmosphere and the cultural fit. So if the job offer is declined, it’s possible that the candidate did not see it as the right fit as they didn’t get a sense of your company culture. Ask yourself: Did you clearly communicate and offer opportunities to experience  your culture? You can avoid this by sharing the company vision and more proactively touch about topics like values, culture, and team spirit, so the candidate can better imagine working for and with you.

Lack of growth and development opportunities

Depending on the phase your company is in at the moment, there might not be enough opportunities to grow at your company. You can solve this challenge by offering horizontal growth opportunities like training, workshops, or even guest lectures during lunch. Create an environment where your team members can grow and develop. During the interview,  ask candidates for their own areas of interest and professional development plans for their desired career path. Then, let them know how your company could support that, ultimately highlighting why your company is the right fit for their career goals. 

It’s your process 

Maybe the candidate declined your offer because your whole application and hiring process simply took too long, and other companies moved faster. Analyze your own process to find out which parts can be improved. Set and track KPIs that give you some insights into the process, and subsequently work hard to speed it up.

Pay peanuts… and you’ll get monkeys

Another reason why candidates reject your offer could be that the salary you offered was too low. To avoid this, analyze the market to get an understanding of how much a candidate with their specific qualifications and experiences would usually earn. If you’re a young company in its early stages, candidates are usually aware that you’d pay less than an established company. But you can offer other incentives as part of the package, such as participation in the employee stock option pool (ESOP). 

The telltale signs that you won’t be closing:

Here are some warning signs that you might not be making a successful hire this time:

Never-ending questions

Questions from the candidate are obviously great and a sign of interest. But there’s a point where too many questions are being asked, essentially revealing doubts the candidate has about the role, the company, or where the firm is headed. When general interest turns into doubts that replace the excitement, you should brace for impact.

Slower response time and postponing of interviews

When a candidate’s response time gets longer and longer, or interviews and calls get postponed, it’s the first sign that the fire is not really burning. You’re still in the game, but the odds are turning against you.  

Getting ghosted

Sending out emails and not getting a response? That’s a clear sign the candidate is moving on to a different gig and has lost the excitement and interest for the job you are offering. Time to move on.

Elapsed offer deadline

If your offer deadline has elapsed without response, it’s the clearest sign that your hire won’t come through. If you set a deadline and don’t hear back by then, you can basically expect that the candidate has decided against your offer. And if that’s not the case, then you should decide against the candidate - after all, if not even this deadline can be met, what are you to expect from working with the candidate?

Team TalentSpace

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