For a lot of hiring managers, losing that perfect candidate for whatever reason, can be a setback forcing you to repeat the expensive and time consuming hiring process.
However, a candidate declining a job offer isn’t always a bad thing. It can actually help you fine tune your entire hiring and decision making process paving way for successful hiring in the future.
That said, here are four steps to take when a candidate you are really interested in declines your offer.
1. Offer to help
Sometimes a candidate will decline an offer for personal reasons.
When this happens don’t be judgmental and jump into conclusions about why they can’t accept the job right away.
Sometimes, that person may be going through a challenging situation or dealing with issues that may affect their ability to deliver or their career in general.
Whatever the case, encourage them to share the issues they may be dealing with and offer solutions like flexible working arrangements. The goal is to encourage them to take the job as they address whatever problems they have in their personal lives.
By showing that you are willing to invest in and accommodate them, it will encourage them to proceed with the process.
2. Keep the lines of communication open
While its inconsiderate for a new hire to refuse to show up on the start date of work, instead of blocking them out and going ahead to find a replacement, seek to first understand what could have happened.
There might be other factors in play that have nothing to do with you or the job.
As such make a point of contacting them to discuss the issue further. Remain level headed – you never know; they may just have developed cold feet.
However, if the candidate will not pick your calls or reply to your emails then there is a high chance that they will not be taking that job after all.
When that happens, you need to perfect your hiring strategy by perhaps introducing new interview questions or psychometric test to ensure that you don’t go back to the drawing board when you offer the next candidate the job.
3. Be flexible if they won’t accept the offer
Sometimes the person you thought to be your ideal hire might decide that the position is not the perfect fit for them and you can’t blame them for wanting a job that best suits them.
When this happens, discuss with them their career aspirations, their perfect job and see if you can modify the role to fit what they are looking for.
If this can’t be done, accept the situation and offer them solutions that will make it easy for them to take the next step in their career.
4. Lastly, try and find out why they turned down the offer
Sometimes you may interview a promising candidate who from the way they carry themselves, you are sure they will accept your offer.
But then something happens and they decide to go with another company, paying the same or even less?
What could have happened?
While you are doing back ground checks on the candidate you want to hire, they are doing their own research about you to determine if you are the right company to work especially the senior level professionals.
Such a candidate might turn down the offer no matter how much you are paying or how promising the position is due to something about your company that is in the public domain that they didn’t like.
To them, the company matters just as the job itself.
Employer branding in this case is very important and it’s up to you to figure out how people out there perceive you as a company.
When you work on that, you will not only attract quality candidates but you will avoid going back to the drawing board because quality candidates would rather work for your competitors.
In the end,
Your relationship with a potential candidate does not end when they decline your job offer. You never know, there might still be a chance for the two of you to work together in the future.
Though it’s difficult accepting that you might lose a great hire, there are things you can take from it in to prevent such a situation in future. If you treat it as an opportunity to fine tune your recruitment process, you won’t be making the same mistakes again in future.