Three Reasons Your Job Offers Could Be Turned Down

Julie Shenkman
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Even though the labor market continues to make gains with higher wages, low unemployment and manufacturing growth, some job seekers may simply turn down your tantalizing job offer. Putting your best foot forward to get the right person for the position may not be enough.

Candidates decline job offers for several reasons. Sometimes, the person may accept a different offer somewhere else. Family dynamics may change, or health issues could suddenly creep into the picture. Even the best companies to work for in the United States may have trouble luring the best talent for reasons beyond their control, such as expensive housing options, long commutes or a lack of promotions.

However, when the job offer remains one of the best possible fits on paper, candidates decline a position because of something endemic to your organization. Digest these three reasons why a fantastic hire may go elsewhere.

1. Candidate Motivations

Your candidate came into the interview with the impression he would work to increase sales as the leader of a focused team designed to study market trends and deliver knockout customer service principles. Instead, he finds out the company just wanted him as a rock 'n' roll salesman who knows how to finish deals due to his reputation as someone who can sell snow to Eskimos. If the candidate's passions and talents are not properly satiated, that person could decline your job offer no matter how much money, fringe benefits and vacation time you bring to the table.

2. Stagnation

A competitive labor market means the future looks bright for companies trying to compete. Firms cannot rely on past glories within an industry that loves quarter-on-quarter results. Great candidates do their research ahead of time to see where your firm stands within the industry. Has your company had scale back in recent years? How did the firm do during the recession? Does your offer match the industry standard, or does your past reputation seem to warrant a friendly discount on hiring the best talent?

Companies must remember the question "What have you done for me lately?" when it comes to hiring top recruits. No one wants to work for a company that lost its industry leader status years ago and continues to slide. An industry leader 20 years ago that lost its luster failed to adapt to changing market forces and may have liabilities in the future.

3. Changing Competition

Pure money offers do not represent the only marketability behind a job offer. Some candidates want flexible work schedules, more time with family, greater work-life balance, a more relaxed atmosphere at the office or free lunches at the cafeteria. Maintain your company's competitive edge by viewing what fast-growing startups have done to retain talent, and see if that company's initiative fits in with your company culture.

A pattern to look for revolves around the number of declines you get. One job offer declination could register as an anomaly, and that person simply wasn't the right fit. The human resources department should start to worry when a pattern emerges. Take the initiative and do your research before you lose even more revenue due to lack of talent.

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