The search is over. From the countless number of candidates that you’ve screened, you’ve found the one. And so you bring out the offer. But the unexpected happens: the talented candidate rejects your offer! Now, what should you do?


What You Should Do When a Talented Candidate Rejects Your Offer

A candidate saying “no” is inevitable. Just like how applicants need to make an impression for you to hire them, you also need to make an impression on the applicant so that they would want to work for you. It’s not entirely uncommon for a candidate to decline an interview or a job offer from your company.

What you have to understand, though, is that this “no” isn’t as resolute as you may think.

During the sales process, the salesperson will surely encounter a customer that’ll say no. The key to this is to handle this objection and turn the “no”, into a “yes”.

The same thing applies to the situation of a candidate rejecting you. You still have the chance to change their mind. Rejection is usually supported by reasons. These reasons aren’t always shared, but you can always ask.

If the talent rejects your offer, ask them why. Remember to use a tone that won’t sound accusing, or you risk the other person closing off and further lose your chances to change their mind. And from that answer, you can work on how to counter their rejection.


Some common reasons a talented candidate rejects your offer

They feel that your offer isn’t enough

Probably the most common reason why a talent rejects your offer is because of the salary. They may feel like it’s not enough. On the other hand, your company may offer a generous salary, benefit, and perks, but other companies may also do that. So, how could you attract the talent to you?

Instead of offering just the base pay, offer your full compensation package and culture. What other things could your organization give them that would also be beneficial to them? Remember that aside from the salary, talents also look at the benefits. Differentiate your organization by letting the candidate see beyond the money. For example, do you have excellent growth opportunities in your company? Or do you have travel incentives? These are some things you can use to your advantage.


They feel that your culture isn’t fit for them

Since they’ll be spending at least a third of their day within the office, candidates want an organization with a culture that will fit them. Otherwise, they won’t be excited about going to work. Leading, sooner or later, for them looking for other places that will make them feel that. This is where your employee engagement programs come in.


They can’t see growth opportunities within your company

It’s natural for candidates to want growth. And if they can’t find it from you, they’re going to seek it from someone else. Ask the candidate what their long-term goals are. And then, think about what you could do for those long-term goals if they work for your company.


Inefficiency in hiring

You can’t expect the candidate to wait for you forever. If you’ve found the right one for your organization, make an offer as soon as possible. While you’re making them wait for a call or confirmation, there will be organizations making offers to them. Candidates are often more confident signing with a more responsive company.


You don’t have a good employer brand

If talents don’t want to work for your company, you may want to look at your employer brand. What do previous employees say about your organization: are they good or bad? What about what previous applicants say?

People trust peer recommendations more than advertising. At the same time, people also trust online reviews as much as what their friends say. So, make sure that you have a good employer reputation or you’ll have candidates rejecting your offers more often than not.


You can turn around rejection when you do two things: ask and listen. Learn from what your candidates say, and continuously improve your business.