When the Candidate Declines Your Offer

businessman-NO-signYour Rockstar candidate will say “No” for a lot of different reasons.

Most of them are preventable.

Are you preventing them?

I just read a study that shows in today’s red-hot job market, candidates say “No” one-third of time. That means 33% of the time, you won’t get your man/woman.

Which means that you need to re-start the search, continue looking, keep the role vacant, or (God forbid!) settle.

Those are pretty lousy odds.

I don’t accept them as inevitable. Nor should you.

But here’s the thing… Just as a great salesperson knows that he can’t turn around his prospect at the very end of the sales process (the bottom of the funnel), it’s too late if you wait until you give an offer letter to overcome candidate objections.

You need to identify and overcome those early in the process. Early and often. From the very first call.

Some of the key reasons that Rockstar candidates say “No”:

  • You failed to inspire them
  • They don’t see a big meaty challenge
  • Too big a perceived risk (remember: they’re crushing it in their current role)
  • Your candidate experience is slow, lousy, or both
  • They’re not interested in working for some annoying micro-manager (they already have one of those)
  • Scared off by some last-minute surprise (I’ve seen even one typo in an offer letter do it)
  • They’re unclear what happens after they crush the role you’re asking them to do

Notice that compensation isn’t one of them, at least not in my case, because I discuss compensation on the very first phone screen call.

Once I know we’re in ballpark (translation: approx 15-20% more than they currently earn), I know that compensation won’t be the reason they say “No.”

What good is investing all this time (and money) recruiting Rockstars only to lose your first-choice 1/3 of the time?

Don’t let it happen.

Why are you getting turned down? I want to know.

Never settle,

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman is the author of Recruit Rockstars: The 10 Step Playbook to Find the Winners and Ignite Your Business. The Chief Talent Officer at Chicago-based Strong Suit Executive Search, Hyman currently teaches the MBA course on recruiting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and hosts the five-star Strong Suit Podcast. Jeff has been featured by Inc., Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and other media outlets. Learn more at www.recruitrockstars.com

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