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Candidates Turning Down Offers?

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

You've found the perfect candidate, vetted them thoroughly, and got the buy-in from your team, so you've extended an offer and excitedly await them joining your organization! But then…they turn DOWN the offer. What gives?

This is certainly a disappointing scenario for any employer, but if this keeps happening to you it might be time to ask a few questions:

Did you have a conversation with them to understand their motivations?

Seems simple enough, but sometimes it's not what you think. It's true that pay is typically a primary motivator for many people to switch jobs so paying market wage is a must and understanding any competing offers is even better. While money does talk, sometimes it's the combination of vacation time, benefits, flexibility, or a clear path for advancement and growth in addition to pay that not only closes the deal, but aids in retention as well. A conversation about this and of course acting on what you learn, will help you address any concerns the candidate has and likely lead to less negotiations once the offer is presented, getting your new hire started on your team sooner! A good goal to aim for is to know whether the offer is going to be accepted before it's even in writing because you've had this dialogue.

Did you act decisively after the last interview to present them with the offer?

Presenting an offer soon (up to three days) after the final interview with your candidate communicates confidence in their abilities, a commitment to wanting them on your team, and creates a good impression of your company's ability to get things done. Remember, changing jobs is a risk the candidate is taking as well and knowing that their new manager is excited to have them and they will be in an organization set up for success is key in making the leap. A lengthy lapse in time without communication allows doubt to creep in, hindering your chances for acceptance. Swift, decisive action gives you the best opportunity to secure the talent you want on your team and getting off on the right foot when you begin working together! Of course there are times when you might not be able to present an offer immediately...more on that next.

Did you communicate with them regularly about their candidacy?

This is especially important in the final stages, but of course starts in the beginning. If you need to complete the interview process with other candidates, tell them. If you have a lengthy offer approval process before you can extend one, let them know what to expect. All of this keeps your new potential hires engaged in your opportunity, along with helping them feel connected to the opportunity and valued. When they hear nothing, candidates usually assume there's no interest and move on, giving them the perfect opportunity to find another job, increasing your competition. Communicating regularly is a compelling way to stand out and also cultivates a good foundation with your new potential team member!

Of course, there are a myriad of other reasons why a candidate turns down an offer, many outside of your control. However, making the above steps best practice will no doubt improve your interactions with candidates, thus increasing your chances of hiring the industry's top talent!

Closing the Gaps

Sometimes a third party is what you need to close some gaps in the process. In addition to identifying talent, a recruiting partner can gather insights from the market, learn a candidate's thought process as they navigate the decision and assist with the communication in between stages to keep candidates engaged to the end.

Recruiting is one of the most important steps in the hiring process. If you are ready to accomplish your high-priority objectives and take on more projects, you need to actively seek out skilled candidates who are ready and able to jump right in. Consider working with a talent partner, who will help you navigate this process and free up more time for your other duties.

Kinetic Search Strategies offers comprehensive search solutions in the building technology field. We tailor our recruiting strategy to your unique culture and business model in order to deliver the capabilities and sustainable alignment that you require. If you are interested in working with us, please call Jenne Hays at (317) 593-2360 or visit our website,

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