Candidates Who Reject Job Offers – How to Avoid a Refusal

Almost any employer or recruiter must have experienced, at some point in his activity, the rejection of an employment offer from a candidate. After hours and days of searching, selecting dozens of resumes, followed by contacting some candidates who fit the organization, setting interviews and taking a final decision, you make the offer to the candidate who, during the recruitment process, proved to have the necessary skills to fill the open position. However, the proposal submission is not always followed by its acceptance by the candidate, especially given that the labor market offers potential candidates the possibility to choose.

When an offer gets rejected, we ask ourselves, inevitably, the next question: What went wrong? Studies conducted by experts in recent years sought to reveal the reasons that can be found behind the candidates’ rejection and what can be done to avoid this situation. The studies proved that most of the candidates who reject an offer do it because they have received a better one in the meantime. Among the reasons for which candidates reject offers of employment we can find the wages and benefits that are below expectations, receiving a counteroffer from the current employer or the place where the potential employer is located.

What Can We Do to Avoid a Negative Response

While the reasons listed above seem difficult to avoid or influence from the perspective of the recruiter, we must take into account the fact that behind a negative answer could be just the way how the recruitment process went or how the offer was made. When we try to look for the causes of the rejection, we must analyze not only the manager’s actions but also those of recruitment team, and how the company is "selling" the job, how the company promotes itself as an employer, how it promotes its culture and values. Instead of accepting refusals as inevitable or normal things, the organization should analyze these cases and take them seriously, especially when they are numerous.

For example, the employer may find out the reasons that cause the candidates to reject them through a survey after the completion of the recruitment process. So, after a candidate rejects the job offer, his option could be analyzed through a short questionnaire via email or phone. Many candidates would like to receive these questions, to have the opportunity to motivate their choice. At the opposite end, a good option for the employer would be to do a survey among candidates who accept their offers and ask them which was the main reason why they said "yes," what they found irrelevant in the recruitment process, and if there were things that could have caused them to reject.

Open Communication Can Save the Situation

Beyond what we might think, any person who is looking for a job will take into account the possibility to accept other offers. Thus, during the recruitment process, the candidate could be asked if he is currently considering the offers of other employers, just to know from the start if there are chances to be rejected for a more appealing offer. Also, the applicant may be asked whether the current employer is aware of his intention to leave the company and whether it’s likely to receive a counteroffer to be persuaded to stay. By getting answers to these questions, the recruiter will know if the candidate is qualifying him as a first option or not.

When it comes to salary expectations, it is not enough just to ask the candidate about it but is useful to inform him whether you can offer him what he wants or not. For example, if a candidate wants more than the allocated budget for the position he is being recruited, you can ask what is the minimum amount that would make him willing to accept a new offer and display the other benefits that new job would bring. Lastly, we must not forget that every person who wants to change the job is not only searching for a new workplace but for a better future. Much more, he isn’t merely attracted by numbers, but by development opportunities.


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