What to Do When a Top Candidate Turns You Down

After weeks of searching, you’ve found the perfect hire for the job opening. The interviews have gone well and theres a definite interest on both sides. You think you have the perfect fit and the offer is presented. Everything is going according to plan. 

You hear back – and the candidate has accepted another offer.  

Being turned down is something every recruiter, manager, and HR professional faces. So, what should you do when a jobseeker turns you downfor another employer? Just because you offer someone a job, doesn’t mean they’re going to accept it. It’s never a nice feeling when a candidate rejects your job offer, especially if you’ve put a lot of effort into your recruitment process.  

At times like this, it’s important to examine if your hiring process could be stronger. Here are some excellent tips to do just that: 

Examine Your Hiring Process 

If candidates are repeatedly rejecting your offers, you’ve got to take a closer look at how you’re hiring. How are you sourcing candidates?  Are you relying too heavily on LinkedIn, or job boards? To find the best fit for the opening it pays to diversify your candidate sources to strategically identify and reach out to the best talent.  

Review the Candidate Experience 

When someone comes to interview, what kind of candidate experience are you offering?  Keep in mind that candidates are interviewingyouevery bit as much as you’re interviewingthem. Things like tardiness, vague answers, and apathetic staff could all be hurting their experience. Also, take a look at your time to fill. A thorough hiring process is great butit’s taking companies longer to fill positionsthan ever before. Add too many steps and by the time you’ve finally gotten around to extending the offer, the candidate has moved on.  

Ask for Feedback 

It’s important to try and gain an understanding ofwhy they’re turning down your job offerHopefully, they’ll be honest and upfront, but you might need to coax it out of them. If the candidate rejects your job offer because they aren’t happy with the package, you could potentially revisit it. Candidates hold a lot of power in the current market and they know itIf you feel strongly about the candidate, be ready to negotiate – but keep an eye on your hiring budget.  

Don’t Take it Personally 

Candidates reject job offers for a number of reasons. Recent studies have shown that the biggest reason candidates reject your job is because they took another offer. It’s likely the other opportunity offered a shorter commute, higher pay, or better benefits.It’s difficult to have your job offer be rejected, but the reality is that some things are out of your control.  


When a candidate turns you down, you should not see it as a reflection of the caliber of your company. The fact is, candidates decline offers around 10 percent of the time, so the chances are you won’t run into this situation too often. Incorporating the above steps can go a long way toward helping you land the candidates you’re looking for.   

Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Our team of local, experienced professionals can help you meet your hiring needs quickly and efficiently.  


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