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Why are Candidates Turning Down Your Job Offers?

Hiring talented team members is an investment of time, money and resources. When you get to the job offer stage, you want to be sure your candidate of choice says yes. Unfortunately, often they don’t. Here are several common reasons why your leading candidates may be walking away from your company and the role, and what you can do about it.

Long Delays

A long delay between the final round of interviews and the job offer, with no communication in between, is one of the most common reasons a candidate will reject your job offer. They may assume they were no longer in consideration and decided to move on and take another opportunity. Or, the slow pace may have given them a negative impression of your organization and team. Communication is key, especially during delays. Keeping the candidate informed will hold their interest and avoid souring them on the company.

Low Ball Offer

Candidates often walk when the compensation package is lower than what was expected. It’s important to set clear expectations at the outset for what the company’s range is, and what the candidate is seeking so there are no surprises at the end of the process.

No Flexibility

When a company is very rigid, it can lead to a candidate accepting your competitor’s offer. When an organization doesn’t bend regarding things like working from home or a non-traditional schedule to accommodate a rough commute or personal circumstance, the candidate will walk. This is becoming one of the top candidate requests, and companies that don’t offer a reasonable amount of flexibility are at a disadvantage when it comes to winning talent.


Candidates turn down offers due to timing. Sometimes, a company has a long process during which time the candidate gets an offer for another role and goes off the market. We work with clients to understand how many interviews or steps there will be and set the right expectations with candidates. If a candidate expects to have just one interview and ends up having four, it can be frustrating. We keep candidates engaged by checking in, advising of updates and sharing helpful feedback.

We also encourage clients to expedite the process whenever possible so you don’t risk that your competition moves more quickly and takes your next hire before you get the chance.

Lack of Growth Opportunities

Strong talent is attracted to roles where candidates see growth potential. Candidates want to see that a company will invest in their career goals, as they are investing in the company. Be ready to explain what growth opportunities are offered and give the candidate concrete examples of how they have seen this growth happen with other people in the company.

Lack of Communication

If candidates don’t feel like they are being communicated with effectively, they will absolutely move on to other opportunities. More and more candidates are requiring a high touch hiring experience. Strong communication also ensures the organization stays appealing to candidates, so they stay excited about the opportunity and even share their positive experience with their networks (which is great for future hiring!). Remain in continual communication throughout the entire process and share updates daily, even if the update is more of a check-in and doesn’t include new information.

To ensure top candidates accept job offers, it’s crucial for employers to maintain timely and effective communication, offer competitive and clear compensation packages, provide reasonable flexibility, expedite the hiring process, and clearly demonstrate growth prospects within the company. Employers who adopt these strategies are more likely to secure their preferred candidates and enhance their organization’s appeal in a competitive job market.

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