The Top 3 Reasons Candidates Reject Job Offers


Finding exceptional candidates that match your open position is hard work. When you find a good fit, you want them to accept the position. But, too often, you invest time into a candidate only to have them reject the job offer.

It turns out, candidates turn down offers for three major reasons. Top Echelon, LLC, investigated the state of the recruiting industry and asked recruiters about the most common reasons candidates reject client job offers. The top three responses made up 78.4% of these reasons.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to reduce job offer rejections by 78%? Find out what the top three reasons are and what you can do to counteract them.

“The salary is too low for the position”

In the survey, 29.7% of recruiters said candidates decline a job offer due to salary. A candidate might think the salary is too low for many reasons:

  • The pay might be less than what the candidate currently earns.
  • The candidate might have to move for the position, which can be expensive.
  • The new area might have a high cost of living, but the salary doesn’t match that.
  • The position might cause the candidate’s transportation expenses to increase.

People know how much money they need to live on and what their skills are worth. People don’t want to take an offer that undervalues them and their needs.

Interestingly, the survey showed that 17.9% of clients complain about candidates’ unrealistic salary expectations. Candidates want more money, and employers think that’s not practical.

We are currently in a candidates’ market, meaning candidates have more pull in the hiring process. If candidates don’t get what they want, they will move on to a better offer. To keep the best candidates, employers have to bend to the candidates’ expectations.

When you make an offer, make it attractive and reasonable to accept. Find out what the candidate expects to earn in the new position.

Also, conduct market research on employee wages. Consider how much your competitors are paying employees to do similar tasks. Look at both the business’s industry and surrounding geographic area when determining how to set salaries.

Don’t come out low and expect to negotiate. Your initial low offer can completely turn the candidate away from the position.

“Other offers were better”

Let’s say you find a superstar candidate. They are the perfect fit for your open position. The candidate has tons of experience and qualifications. Odds are, another business wants them, too.

The recruiters in the survey said 24.5% of candidates reject the job offer because another was better.

When you’re searching for candidates, it’s not enough to attract people to the open position. You have to be better than your competitors. You are competing for candidates with other businesses in your industry and surrounding area.

Once again, market research on salaries can help. Find out what your competitors offer employees in similar positions. Try to match or exceed the compensation.

You also have to sell your business to candidates. Tell them about the job perks and company culture. Showcase the things that make your business desirable to work at.

“They took too long to make an offer”

According to the survey, 24.2% of candidates rejected employment offers because the business took too long to make it.

You understandably want to choose the right candidate. It can take some time to pick the best person. But, taking too long can cause top candidates to search elsewhere for work.

For candidates, waiting is frustrating. If your application process is too long or your hiring process drags on for weeks and months, candidates will likely lose interest in your company. Your slow process might seem like you aren’t interested in the candidates.

To keep candidates interested, speed up your hiring process. Cut out unnecessary parts that slow the process down.

Keep in touch with candidates. Let them know where you are in your process. If you can, tell candidates when they’ll hear from you next. If candidates know where you are in your process and where they stand, they might be more willing to wait on your next steps.


Topics: Talent Acquisition

Updated April 24, 2018