Feeling Stuck After a Candidate Rejects You? Here's the Realistic Next Step

It was love at first sight. The job experience, the education, the morals, this candidate couldn't be more perfect for your job opening. But there's a problem, they rejected your offer. Now you're standing there, alone at the alter (office) without a new hire. What do you do?

Sometimes a candidate rejects your offer. What should companies do when great candidates decide they would be a better fit elsewhere? Depending on the situation, companies may not necessarily need to scramble for another hire, but they should always see what about the process went wrong. And whatever they might do, they should never take it as an affront to their company. 

Don’t Take it Personally

There are a several reasons a candidate might reject a job offer; according to 46% of recruiters in recent survey, the biggest reason candidates reject offers is because they took another offer. It’s difficult to be on the rejection side of a job offer, but the reality is that job offers are like any other business transaction. Perhaps the job simply didn’t fit their expectations, so they chose another opportunity instead.

Maybe the other offer was a closer drive, it paid better or they were referred by current employees at the other company. Regardless, a candidate turning down an offer shouldn’t reflect on the rejected company as an employer. The good news is that it only it happens around 10% of the time, so companies shouldn’t encounter it too often. In most cases, it’s best for companies to simply take their lumps and move on. 

Be Patient, Grasshopper

According to a recent survey, 55% of employers rejected many qualified candidates in favor of the one you gave the offer. A company’s first step after getting a declination from their most qualified candidate is to contact more candidates before they’re swept away from you, too. Recruiters often battle the clock when it comes to competing to obtain the best candidates for their company.

Or perhaps they aren’t. If the recruiting team doesn’t feel like the rest of their candidates are a good fit for the job and don’t need to fill the opening immediately, they should instead consider waiting until another great candidate comes up. Companies should never sacrifice quality for the sake of efficiency. However, they should avoid the pitfalls of waiting for purple squirrels!

Take a Look at The Hiring Process

If companies think candidates declining their offers at the last second might be a regular issue, they should take a second look at how they’re hiring. If a company lacks qualified candidates and typically relies on a single person to have what it takes and accept an offer in a candidate-driven market, it might worth it for them to diversify their recruitment sources. Some of the best sources of hires right now, courtesy of a recent LinkedIn survey, are internet job boards, social professional networks and employee referrals.

Not every candidate looks in the same place, so diversifying avenues of hiring will help companies get ahold of more candidates they may not have known about before. And if candidates denying the offer at the last minute is an issue, they should think about what they can do to either be more enticing as a company or respond to candidates more quickly, so they can make the offer before anyone else does.

Companies shouldn’t be too upset when a perfectly good candidate declines their offer. Instead, they should take a closer look at the rest of their candidates, their hiring process and understand that not every candidate who declines does it because of something they did wrong. Instead, they should accept it, cut their losses and keep an eye out for the next great candidate.

Bio: Sean Pomeroy

While selling other companies software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system and Cyber Train, learning management system. Want to see what Visibility Software has to offer? Take a demo now.

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Tweet me at @VisSoft

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