It’s a candidates’ market right now, which has plenty of implications for employers and recruiters. One of those implications involves candidates turning down job offer. Specifically, it affects which offers they will accept . . . and which ones they will not.
Remember back in the “good old days” of the Great Recession, when candidates did not turn down offers? Neither do I. That’s because there were no job offers during the Great Recession. Not a lot of them, anyway.
But my, how times have changed. Now the national unemployment rate sits at 3.7%. That’s the lowest that it’s been in the United States since 1969. There are over six million job openings in the country, as well. And in some industries and niches, there is a glaring lack of qualified candidates and top talent.
So job seekers and candidates have a ton of options. Consequently, they’re not going to jump at any offer made to them. In fact, quite the opposite is the case. Candidates are turning down job offers at a rampant clip, leaving employers—and sometimes recruiters—scratching their heads. (Their own heads, not each other’s heads.)
Multiple reasons for turning down a job offer
So as you might imagine, what all of this means is that there is a “laundry list” of reasons why a candidate would reject a job offer. We’ve transitioned from a situation where hardly any candidates rejected a job offer (Great Recession) to now, where there are multiple reasons for offer rejection.
With all of that in mind, below are six reasons why candidates are turning down a job offer from your client:
#1—The compensation is too low.
First, it’s more difficult to convince passive candidates to make a move because they’re being treated well by their employers. Second, some of these candidates are entertaining offers from multiple organizations. Third, candidates are also receiving counter-offers from their current employer. All of these are reasons why a candidate would turn down an offer from your client if that offer contained a compensation figure the candidate considered to be too low.
#2—The candidate did not like what they saw during the hiring process.
What did they see, exactly? They saw company officials who were not on the same page. They saw miscommunication. In fact, they might have seen company officials outright contradict each other regarding the opportunity or the organization. Not only that, but there two things that top candidates want an employer to respect during the hiring process—their time and their confidentiality. If a candidate believes that your client did not respect either of those, then they will become disenchanted with the organization. That, in turn, will convince them to reject any offer that is made.
#3—The candidate did not feel wanted by your client.
This is important to candidates in today’s marketplace. Employers must actively recruit these professionals. Your client must convince them that the organization wants them and that this is clearly the best next move for their career. There is a difficult mental shift that is needed when hiring in a candidates’ market. That mental shift is this: hiring managers must realize that employers need top candidates more than top candidates need employers. This is year another reason why such a candidate would have no qualms about turning down a job offer.
#4—The candidate did not see a clear career path.
Top candidates want to grow. That’s one of the things that make them top candidates. They certainly do not want to join an organization, only to see their career stall. That’s why, in addition to “selling” a top candidate on both the opportunity and the organization, your client must sell them on how joining the company will help them to grow their career. If they’re not convinced that there is room to grow in the form of raises and promotions, then they will go elsewhere.
#5—The candidate did not like the company culture.
Company culture has also become increasingly important to job seekers and candidates during the last few years. Top candidates want to feel assured that they will fit in to the culture. They also want to feel as though the culture is such that it will help them to flourish. Not matter how much you throw at top candidates in the way of starting salary and compensation, if they don’t like the culture, it will cause them to hesitate. At best, they will hesitate. At worst, they will reject your client’s job offer.
#6—The client’s core values did not align with the candidate’s.
This is a critical consideration that quite a few organizations overlook. Candidates in today’s market want to feel as though their employer has the same core values as they do. For Millennials, that means making a difference in the community and the world at large. For that generation, it’s not all about profit. It’s about making an impact on society. Any organization that wants to hire top talent should clearly define and communicate its core values. In fact, that organization should communicate those values both to candidates during the hiring process and also to its employees. (Because retention is just as important as hiring.)