Best Practices in HR

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Dave Rietsema
  May 27, 2019

Dealing with Rejection: How to Handle Losing Your Top Candidates

The recruiting process can be tough. It’s a long and possibly expensive process to find the best candidates and go through the recruiting and interview process. Job candidates aren’t the only ones who deal with rejection during this process, however.

Companies find top candidates that are perfect for the job, only to find that when they extend him or her an offer the candidate decides to turn it down.

Avoiding Rejection

It may not be possible to avoid rejection altogether. However, there are steps you can take to try to turn a rejection into an acceptance, or, if that’s not possible, avoiding rejection in the future. The first step is to determine why your top candidate is rejecting your job offer.

Candidates reject job offers for a variety of reasons, from benefits and pay to the job description or a competitive offer from another company. There are a lot of factors that you cannot control in the recruitment process. One major thing that you can control, however, is the attitude with which your company approaches the recruitment process.

A Positive Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude throughout the recruitment process can go a long way towards a successful result. Your interactions with a candidate during the interview and recruitment process set the tone for their potential work for your company. If the candidate finds your company to be welcoming and happy to be speaking with them, they’ll be more likely to consider an offer from you.

Learn from the Rejection

It’s also critical for this and future recruits that you find out what caused your candidate to reject your offer. Depending on the reason, there may be room to turn that no into a yes. If the candidate found the pay or the benefits to be unsatisfactory, for example, and your company is able to negotiate, you may be able to make a counteroffer.

If your company cannot negotiate, then you still may have a chance of convincing the candidate to accept your offer. You can remind the candidate of the benefits that you can offer and how working for you could positively affect his or career. It may not be enough to convince the candidate, but you’ll have learned valuable information that can guide you with future recruits.

If you find that many candidates have rejected employment offers from you and you see a pattern, you may have to make an adjustment to the job offer.

Building Bridges

Maintaining that positive attitude even if a candidate rejects your offer of employment is essential. If your top candidate has taken a job with another company or is otherwise no longer available for employment at yours, you can turn that rejection into a professional relationship. Connect with that candidate on LinkedIn, congratulate him or her on the new job, and nurture the connection.

You never know when your ideal candidate may become available again. Employees switch jobs regularly for a variety of reasons. If you’re patient and make sure to maintain a relationship with the candidate, you may find that the timing works out better later on for them to work for you in the future.

Are you looking for a HRIS to manage your recruitment process? Check out our vendor match page to get started and let us help you find the software that is the perfect fit for your needs.