When a Candidate Rejects an Offer, What Should You Do?

The hiring process takes considerable time and effort. You’ve advertised your open position, reviewed resumes and interviewed candidates. Even if you’re working with a staffing firm, you’ve still taken time to work with your recruiter to find the best-fit candidates for the job. Now, after you’ve made a job offer to your number-one pick, he or she has turned you down. Though disappointing, starting over from scratch can be an expense you simply don’t want to incur. So what steps can you take to encourage a candidate to change his or her mind and come work for you?

What to do when a candidate rejects your job offer

You do have one thing on your side in this situation: you know that the candidate had interest in the position; otherwise, he or she would not have applied. So when an applicant rejects your job offer, it’s most likely because the salary you offered was too low. Logically, you have three ways to counter a rejection:

  1. Hold your ground, but describe the potential for job and salary growth. If the candidate understands that he or she has plenty of room for career expansion and success within your business, this job offer is simply a stepping stone towards a bright future.
  2. Offer benefits other than salary. Money is important, but other job perks can translate to value in a candidate’s eyes. Flexible scheduling, extra PTO, rich healthcare benefits or even additional dress-down days can all help to make a good job offer great.
  3. Reconsider your offer. Decide whether the salary you offered was based on budget versus your perceived value of the candidate. Is this applicant highly qualified with the potential to bring extensive insight to the position? It could be worth it to consider a bump up in pay to get him or her on board.

When to part ways

Part of the conversation you’ll need to have with this candidate is what salary level he or she is expecting. Perhaps you’ll be able to compensate accordingly. But if the difference is too great between the candidate’s salary expectation and reality, it may be best to shake hands and wish him or her the best of luck in future endeavors.

Moving forward: how to prevent job offer rejection

You can also take steps to help ensure a smooth hiring process in the future. You can do this by asking the candidates who reject positions what their reason was (if it’s other than salary). To help you focus on the positives in your hiring process, ask new hires what part of the job offer caused them to accept the position within your company. It could be salary, the benefits package, the company culture, etc. If you’re working with a staffing firm, your recruiter can also help you with this process.

Looking for highly qualified new employees?

Contact Contemporary Staffing Solutions. Great new candidates are out there! Our experienced recruiters will work with you for best-fit talent to help you supplement your staff. To learn more, contact Contemporary Staffing Solutions today!