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Your Job Offer Was Rejected - What Went Wrong?

12 Jan 14:00 By Vicki-Anne Craigen

Vicki-Anne Craigen Creative Recruiters Job Offer Rejected
Don't have time to read this article? No problem! See our video below to learn more about attracting top talent and avoiding rejection.


Hi, I’m Vicki-Anne from Creative Recruiters.

Unless you’re a well known global brand, I’m guessing that attracting Top Talent into your business has been one of your greatest challenges this year.  For the most part, the recruitment process is long, tedious and time-consuming, so when an offer is rejected the disappointment can be felt throughout every part of the business that the candidate was introduced to.

Today I’d like to offer my insights into four of the most common rejection scenarios, and how you can avoid them.

Let’s start with the feedback that “Your offer wasn’t competitive”

In today’s market, those who are very good at what they do are being approached multiple times each week either by your competitors or by Recruiters.  They know what they’re worth in the market more than ever before, so if you want them you need to listen to a trusted advisor and make sure that your position description, your budget and employee benefits are competitive.

Whatever you, don’t go into an interview with a candidate that you can’t afford because you think that they will drop their salary expectations once you’ve pitched your job to them.  There are a multitude of reasons why candidates pitch themselves at a certain salary rate and most of them will be reasons that you won’t be able to change no matter how persuasive you are. To save time and effort, ask your Recruiter or Hiring Manager to negotiate the salary expectations of candidates who sit outside of your budget before they meet with you. That way you can be sure that the people you interview will accept the job at the salary level you can offer.  And finally, my biggest tip - always goes into the interview knowing in advance what it will take to convert them. It will help you interview better to ensure you’ll get a fair return on your investment.

The next reason for a rejected job offer is a tough one to receive, but, what if the feedback was that you and your people failed to inspire the candidate ?

Long gone are the days when the candidate needs to do all the work in an interview. When a candidate is good at what they do they hold all the cards in this market. They know they’re sitting in front of you is because they’ve been vetted by a Recruiter or Hiring Manager, they’ve got the runs on the board to prove they can add value to your business, and most likely they were approached directly several times during the week for similar roles. They’re judging you as much as you’re judging them so being prepared to speak about your business, the role on offer, your vision for the business and your culture passionately and authentically is the key to getting them on board. I’m not a fan of formal interviews, and especially panel interviews,  however,a structured interview will demonstrate that the role for you is a priority and that it is important for your business.

Next up is the one that gives we Recruiters the most anxiety…You took too long to respond.

Because you want bang for your buck you squeeze as much as you can into your job description.  You know your salary budget is limited and you need the new candidate to start sooner rather than later. It’s a tough gig sourcing a candidate for you with these expectations but your Recruiter or Hiring Managers has managed to put ideal candidates in front of you.  And then you go missing…or you take too long to make up your mind. You provide no feedback to your Recruiter or Hiring Manager so they can’t manage the candidate's expectations. You finally make an offer but the candidate lost interest weeks ago. They judged you as being unprofessional and disorganised and as a result, you damaged your brand. They tell everyone they know about the poor experience and the Recruiter is reluctant to work with you again.

Good candidates don’t last long on the job market, so the trick is not to start the interview process until you’re ready. If multiple interviews are required be sure to set them up consecutively to keep up momentum, have a draft letter of offer ready to go, and always have pre-approval to make the job offer at the end of a successful interview.

And finally, the dreaded counteroffer…

Good candidates will get counter-offers, of that I am absolutely certain. Preparing in advance for this scenario will give you the competitive edge. At the interview, it’s important for you to explore and make note of all the reasons why the candidate is thinking about making a move.  Your job offer needs to remove any complaints they may have, or any unfulfilled ambitions, in order for it to be attractive. Use the information you gain to put together a well-constructed offer. When the counter offer strikes, you’ll then be prepared to replay those reasons to them, demonstrate why those problems won’t exist for them should they come on board, and close the deal.

There are of course many more reasons as to why job offers are rejected in this market. The key is to listen to the feedback you’re being given and use it to continually improve your interview process.  

I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have too so please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 0413453563.

Thanks so much for listening, and have a great day.


Director – Creative Recruiters

m: +61 413 453 563


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