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8 reasons why your candidate turned down your job offer

Hiring season (fall) is just around the corner, and so now is a good time to start preparing to find and bring on board all those who are the “best fit” for your business. I know, scary, right?

The race for talent is on! It’s not an employer market anymore. Employers are now at the mercy of their employees – meaning employees have a substantial role in the hiring/recruiting process, and they know it. The employer usually has to do more schmoozing to win over the candidate than vice versa.

Whether or not it was a competing offer that beat yours, there are several reasons why candidates decline job offers. Below are those that we see most often and what you can do to get them to say yes!

1. Not happy with compensation and benefits

Maybe it was a competing offer that beat you out of the gate, or maybe it was that you wouldn’t move on your salary budget, and the candidate couldn’t move down to your offer. High-quality talent costs money! Starting someone off at a low salary, knowing you will eventually increase it by $5K, is like building a foundation on mud. Make them an offer they can accept! Negotiations always bring in weird tensions and damage the employer-employee relationship.

2. Culture not a good fit

When colleagues are conducting a job search or interviewing, I tell them that the interview is just as much about you interviewing the company and people as it is about them interviewing you. If you feel this isn’t the right place or fit for you, trust your gut.

Gen Ys are more concerned about company culture than other generations. As the company’s leader, it’s your job to ensure that you provide an environment and culture that people want to work in. They’re working for YOU to help you build YOUR dreams. So take the time to reflect on what kind of a place people want to work in, and then do what you can to make it so in your business!

3. The job isn’t what they thought it was

Sometimes after learning more about the job, candidates realize that maybe it’s not what they thought it was. It also could be that they’re just not confident they can succeed at the position — feeling it might be above their skills/expertise or it’s a little below what they’re capable of. Don’t take this too hard; they actually did you a big favor by pulling out of the race before you found out they were a bad hire!

4. The location stinks

Gas prices are soaring – and it seems like there is no end in sight. For this reason, commuting has become an even bigger factor in a candidate’s decision-making. Talent tends to flock to the city — if you’re located outside a city, it’s not as desirable and can be less appealing to have to commute to the suburbs or move out there for the job.

5. No work-life balance

This is an increasingly important factor in candidates deciding to take a job — especially for Gen Ys who value work-life balance. What perks do you offer to support a healthy work-life balance? If the answer is “none,” consider offering things like telecommuting or flexible work schedules for starters.

5. Negative online reviews

Before I buy most anything online, I look at the reviews. Candidates now do that with jobs. There are actually a few sites out there that let you review employers, just like you can check out restaurants and services on Yelp. Glassdoor and Indeed have employer reviews where current and past employees provide insider information about working in your company. Scary, right? Well, it shouldn’t be! (Unless you have something to hide…)

6. You took too long

If you waited a long time to get in touch with candidates, or the whole process spread way longer than it should have, it’s super frustrating for them! It’s easy to contact them at your disposal because they’re at your mercy for your job, right? Wrong! If you take too long to hire ’em, they’ll lose momentum and interest in your company. Or they’ll take a job elsewhere.

7. Your recruiting process sucks

To expand on #6: We know that hiring for small businesses is no easy task. It’s a joint effort – often, you have to split up the work among the team members who don’t have HR in their job titles. But keep in mind that candidates pay attention to your hiring process. If it was an exhausting process, or they felt it was unorganized, or if candidates felt neglected until you wanted to talk to them, they won’t feel valued.

The recruiting/hiring process should get them PUMPED to want to work for you! And besides, if the company does a bad job hiring, what other things are they sucking at? That’s no good. Don’t suck.

8. You

Let’s face it, everyone puts their best face on in the interview, just like on a first date. Several colleagues quit their jobs without anything lined up because their bosses were that intolerable. They’ll pick up on it if they get a not-so-good vibe from you or other people during the interview process. If they have equal options to choose from regarding role and compensation-and, they had to wait half an hour before you opened the door to them, or if you appeared distracted or disinterested, or if you were rude…you’ve just made their decision a lot easier.

Am I missing any here? Why have candidates declined a job offer for you before?

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