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Why People Turn Down a Job Offer

30.01.2017

Why People Turn Down a Job Offer

Find out why people could be turning down your job offers, and what you can do about it.

Imagine the scenario: it’s been weeks since one of your team resigned and you’ve finally finished interviewing for their replacement.

You’re happy. You’ve searched high and low to find someone who will fit in from the start and hit the ground running. You call to offer them the job and say you’re delighted they’re going to join you, only they’re not.

In a couple of days they’ve gone from enthusiastic about the opportunity, to turning it down; so why the sudden change of heart?

Well, sometimes you will have done absolutely nothing wrong. When faced with the reality of stepping out of their comfort zone, some people will take the safest option – especially if they get counter-offered by their current employer – and there’s nothing you can do about it.

There are however some common areas you can prevent from becoming an issue:

The Interviewer
Getting this right is critical as people switch jobs more often than ever before and if they don’t buy in to what your company is trying to achieve they won’t be excited about working for you. The interviewer is the person who shares your vision. They’re the candidate’s first glimpse of your company culture; so make sure they’re passionate, positive and friendly.

The Offer
It’s rare someone will feel wanted if you offer them a lower salary or a job title that sounds more junior than the one they currently have. If a candidate comes across as highly career focussed, then don’t let them leave the interview without a clear understanding of what the next steps on the career ladder will be. Think carefully about how your offer will be perceived, as often it’s the attention to detail on the little things that makes all the difference here.

Flexibility
One of the most common reasons people turn down a job is a lack of flexibility in working hours and holidays. Show that you care and are flexible by making sure you mention any opportunities for home-working, flexi-time or other schemes that promote a positive work-life balance.

Travel
Often people haven’t made the journey to your office before, so they’ve no idea of the real travel time until they’re interviewed. If the commute is too long or there’s too much travel involved in the role, then this can put some people off.

Timing
As odd as it sounds, some people get offered a job too quickly. If they’ve just started looking and don’t think they’ve had time to explore the market or mentally prepare for a move, then it’s the interviewer’s job to spot and test them to see if they are ready to switch.

A Better Offer
Talented people in industries with skills shortages can often have several interviews and be offered all of the positions. The trick here is to ask about other opportunities in the interview and then act fast; limiting their time to meet other companies.

Regardless of circumstance, whenever someone decides to say no to a job, they won’t have taken the decision lightly. By getting these areas right you will reduce the likelihood of people turning your job offers down, but you’ll never stop it completely.

The most important thing to do is to be prepared for the interviews, as this is when the candidates decide if the chemistry is right.

Each interview is a chance for both parties to evaluate one another, so it’s not unreasonable that someone will decide your job isn’t right for them; just like you decided a number of people interviewed weren’t right for you.

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