Posted on Oct 18, 2019 @[email protected]

It’s not something you want to hear, but it happens occasionally — your top candidate informs you they have accepted another offer. You feel disappointed and perhaps a little betrayed. Why did your candidate turn you down, and what could you have done differently?

It can be tempting to answer a candidate’s “no” with frustration. But you should take some steps to ensure there’s nothing else you could have done and learn from this situation. Here are the best ways to respond to a candidate who took another job offer.

Remain Gracious

Throughout your interactions with the candidate, stay friendly and understanding. Remember, this is business. It isn’t personal. Your candidate will undoubtedly speak to other people about your company, and you need them to relay a good impression. You want them thinking that even though they didn’t take the job, yours is still an honorable business. Who knows — if you treat them well, they may pass on word about the job to another qualified candidate.

Ask Why They Refused

Learning why someone turned you down can help you determine changes to make for future interviews. The candidate may cite myriad reasons, including:

  • Pay too low for the position they desired
  • Benefits package not what they would have liked
  • A lack of connection with the person who would have been their boss

Not every candidate will be honest about why they declined, and some may not feel comfortable speaking about it. But if you get some honest answers, you can change things for the future and perhaps attract better-suited candidates.

Don’t Write Off the Candidate for Good

Just because someone turns down a job offer today doesn’t mean they will turn down offers in the future. Something attracted you to this candidate, and that didn’t disappear just because they said no to the job. Keep the candidate’s contact information for the future. Check in with them a few months or years down the road. You never know. The position they took may not fit them as well as one with your company.

Move on to the Next Candidate

Getting hung up on the person who said no won’t help your company or your mood. While getting rejected can feel disappointing, frustrating and even a little embarrassing, it happens in business sometimes, and you have to get over it quickly. Start thinking about other people who could fill the position and what they might bring to the table. Chances are you can find more than one person who can do the job as efficiently as the other candidate.

If you experience a candidate refusing a job offer, maybe it’s time to consider working with an executive recruiting firm. At Reaction Search International, we provide guarantees on our candidates to help you get the best option for your unique company culture every time. We use a proven 25-step process to screen the best candidates and bring them to you. Contact us to get started with our services today.

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