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Thanks, but no thanks! Why candidates reject a job offer.


You've just spent your energy, time and money on trying to find the perfect candidate for your vacancy, you've finally got an offer out and they've said NO! WHY?


First things first, it's all too easy to get miffed at the candidate or recruitment consultant/agency you are dealing with for this outcome, but it's important you take a good hard look at your recruitment process to fully understand where it's all gone wrong.


According to research, only 46% of employers report making regular improvements to the recruitment process and only 1 out of 4 employers regularly request feedback directly from candidates on their experience. Although this is shockingly poor, it presents a huge opportunity for employers to improve on candidate care and their recruitment structure.


Below I have identified 5 top reasons why candidates reject a job offer and have given some helpful tips in avoiding these common mistakes.


1- Poor recruitment process.

According to CareerArc, 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience.


If a candidate is treated poorly during any part of the interviewing process, it's safe to say their perception from there on will be negatively effected. A bad interview experience can include you being late for the interview, turning up to the interview in a bad mood, making the candidate feel interrogated.. the list goes on.


“Remember, from the moment your candidate steps in the door to the moment you, the interviewer, say goodbye, they’re interviewing you just as much as you're interviewing them,” says Denise Dudley,   author of Work It!


If a candidate is not treated with respect, you can bet your bottom dollar they will share their experience with others online. 72% of candidates to be exact.


2-  Lack of communication and feedback.

Too many employers/hiring managers are guilty of this. Communication is key!

You've got to remember that if you want top talent for your team, you are going up against other great companies who also want the same thing. If you don't make your candidate feel special, you are putting yourself on the back foot. Make sure you are giving the candidate interview feedback within 24 hours, the longer you delay giving feedback, the more you are pushing your candidates away. Keeping a good line of communication throughout the process and building that relationship will be sure to win the interest and loyalty of the candidate.


3- The hiring process was too long.

This is a common problem. While it is critical to ensure you are hiring the right person for the job, it’s also important that the hiring process doesn't take longer than it should. The recommended timeframe for this is between 2-4 weeks (dependent on the role and level of seniority.)

According to Glassdoor "Have a clear idea of what the ‘ideal candidate’ looks like before starting the search, and be ready to pull the trigger if/when that person surfaces— even if they’re the first candidate."


4- The offer itself.

Offers are tricky and if done wrong will result in a rejection. In the candidate's eyes, the offer you make will be reflective of how you value him/her and and their experience. If you fail to put a strong offer together or low ball an offer, you can guarantee the candidate will be offended and frustrated. Once the damage is done, there's no going back. Be sure to clarify salary expectations at the beginning of the process, seek advice from the recruitment agency you are working with and let them handle the negotiation process.


5- Better counter offers.

Unfortunately you won't always be able to beat a counter offer but being prepared and asking the right questions throughout the process will better equip you should a counter offer arise. It’s also worth asking the caniddate from the get go if they would stay with their current company if their salary or benefits were improved. Always qualifying the candidate throughout the process will be key in avoiding any nasty surprises at the end.

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