Not Getting Any Bites? Here’s Why Candidates Are Turning Down Your Job Offers


As an employer, you put a lot of time, money, and resources into ensuring that you have a foolproof hiring process. From creating and uploading job postings to vetting, interviewing, and extending job offers to your preferred candidates, there are a lot of micro-steps that go into establishing a strong hiring process. But even when you think you’ve done everything right, some candidates can still catch you totally off guard by declining your job offer. Figuring out why candidates are turning down job offers is a crucial step in improving your hiring process and making the necessary changes for future top talent searches.

Reasons Your Job Offers Are Being Declined

Just when you think everything went well with a top candidate, they suddenly decline your job offer and you find yourself wondering where you went wrong. Here are a few reasons why candidates might be declining your job offers.

Low or Uncompetitive Salary

Oftentimes candidates research salary medians within their particular fields before even considering applying to new jobs. The reason they do this is to figure out whether it’s worthwhile to leave their current job to work for another company. Occasionally, however, employers will actively seek out passive candidates from their competitors and try to extend an offer of employment. However, unless you’re prepared to either match or do better than a candidate’s current salary—or unless they’re really unhappy at their current place of work—it’s very likely that they’ll say no.

They Receive Better Offers

This line of reasoning also plays into the competitive salary concept. It’s highly probable that if a candidate is actively seeking new employment, they’ve applied to multiple companies, not just yours. If you’re really interested in a particular candidate and you’re certain they’d be an excellent fit for your business, then you should try to find out if they have other offers coming in and try to match them or do better. Fight for the candidates you want. While most candidates generally don’t bluntly shout out “Show me the money!”, their salary options definitely influence which job offers they choose to accept.

You’re Not Offering Worthwhile Perks

Once again, your lack of a competitive nature could be preventing you from being able to hire the best possible candidates for your company. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you should be researching what type of perks (benefits packages, sick days, bereavement days, at-home/remote work days, casual days, bring your pet to work days, etc.) your competitors are offering that you should also consider. These seemingly small factors are actually huge company culture boosting incentives that could sway top talent to come work for you instead of your competition.

Waiting Too Long to Make the Offer

During the hiring process, it’s always important to pay your due diligence and ensure that you create a shortlist of all of the qualified candidates you want to interview. If you happen to come across a few outstanding candidates that outshine the others, however, don’t wait too long to extend an offer to them because it’s likely that they’ve also applied to other companies in your sector. And it’s also very likely that if you want them badly because of their experience and qualifications, then your competitors will also want to scoop them up just as quickly.

Of course, you should be sensible and only offer jobs to candidates that you’re absolutely certain will be a good fit for your business. Otherwise, you could increase your turnaround rate if things don’t end up working out and nobody wants that to happen.

Undesirable Contract Terms

By the time the final interview rolls around, you should have already clearly communicated your expectations and contract terms to your top candidates. Failing to do so can lead to a lot of misunderstanding and confusion once the time comes to sign on the dotted line. At that point, if candidates are caught by surprise by certain undesirable contract terms that they don’t like, then they can easily walk away and that leaves you right back at square one.

When writing job postings, make sure to be as detailed as possible in terms of communicating what you expect from prospective candidates. List specific qualifications that you’re looking for (education, experience level, certificates, etc.) and whether you expect proof. Indicate whether it’s a short or long-term position (i.e. part-time, full-time, contract) so that candidates know what to expect. Lastly, you should also mention the benefits package you’re prepared to offer in the job posting.

Poor Cultural Fit

Job postings should also give candidates a good idea of the type of company culture you have and hope to cultivate in the future as your brand continues to grow. Make sure to include either a brief paragraph or section regarding the type of company culture your business perpetuates and how you hope future candidates will fit into it. That way, applicants can decide for themselves if they can see themselves working for your company. Another good indication of cultural fit is how candidates perceive your business when they come in for a face-to-face interview. Generally speaking, if candidates don’t get good vibes from your business, they most likely won’t want to work there.

Lack of Growth Opportunities

Arguably one of the most prominent reasons candidates decline job offers is if the company doesn’t offer enough opportunities for growth. Typically, this is also a sign that a company isn’t doing well, and most candidates would prefer not to jump on a sinking ship while it’s already going down. If you can’t offer potential candidates ample upward mobility opportunities to showcase or hone their skills, then there’s a good chance they’d rather go somewhere that can offer them those things and more.

Use a Staffing Agency to Help with Recruitment

Hiring a renowned staffing agency like Resolve Recruit Inc. can help you avoid all of the abovementioned mistakes and more when recruiting new candidates. Our professional and experienced recruiters will work closely with you to understand the needs of your business and help you establish a strong hiring process that’s sure to render the results you want. We’ll also help you vet, interview, and hire top talent in your field. Contact us today to learn more.