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Why Candidates Decline an Offer

Posted by on Nov 6, 2018
Why Candidates Decline an Offer

Why Candidates Decline an Offer

At RNG, we’re passionate about helping local Idaho companies find exceptional talent in Boise. That said, the hiring process is not a perfect science, and sometimes things don’t go according to plan.

Every once in awhile, candidates will make it to the end of (or most of the way through) the hiring process, only to ultimately decline the offer.

Idaho’s unemployment rate is below the national average of 4%, hovering at about 2.7% (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics). Meaning that when you do find exceptional talent, you want to lock them down!

We took a look at a few of the top reasons we’ve seen candidates decline offers. Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, here’s what we’ve noticed…

A lengthy and inefficient hiring process

We’ve talked about this one before, in our “Boise: Recruiting for Tech Talent” blog. With such a low unemployment rate in Idaho, and top talent being in high demand, candidates sometimes have multiple offers/opportunities to consider. If you’re dragging your feet during the hiring process, or filling it with too many convoluted steps, you risk losing candidates along the way.

We understand that sometimes long interview processes are hard to avoid. But there is one area, which is most definitely avoidable: making the candidate wait weeks after the final round of interviewing before extending an offer.

When you make your offer quickly, you make your top candidate feel sought after and excited about the position, and therefore maximize your probability of having your offer accepted.

Little to no visible opportunities for growth within the company

People want jobs they can grow into. If they don’t see an opportunity to advance their skill set at your company, they may not see a mutually beneficial future with you. This is why it’s vital to ask candidates about their long-term goals. It allows you to highlight growth opportunities within your company, which they may otherwise not be made aware of.

Poor candidate experience

According to a survey performed by Career Arc, “Nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.” Not only does this statistic highlight how often candidates report poor experiences during the recruitment process, but also how far reaching this can be.

If the candidate leaves the interview with a bad taste in their mouth and then shares their poor experience with their network, it can impact your business beyond simply losing out on one candidate. Especially in a community as small as Boise.

So, what exactly defines candidate experience?

Basically it’s the way candidates experience your company’s whole recruiting process; from sourcing and screening, to interviewing and rejection, or hiring and onboarding.

Lowballing the candidate’s salary

As a small company ourselves, we understand that it can be difficult to compete with the deeper pockets of larger companies. There are certainly other forms of compensation to consider, such as benefit packages, paid time-off, etc., to offset this challenge. But the bottom line?

Offer candidates what they deserve to be paid.

Similarly, if you do make what you judge to be a fair offer, have an open mind if they want to negotiate. A few thousand dollars may not make a huge dent in your company’s budget, but could make all the difference to whether or not an individual accepts the offer.

We know Idaho still has some work to do, when it comes to salaries. While we’re incredibly grateful for the low cost of living in our state, low salaries can make it difficult to attract and retain skilled talent. Especially when Seattle, Portland, and the Bay Area can offer highly competitive wages.

Obviously, these aren’t the only reasons a candidate will decline a job offer

If you’re scratching your head as to why a candidate has declined your offer, put yourself in their shoes. Extending an offer should feel exciting! Treat this step as you would any new relationship, and be cognizant of the other party.

Orrr… try working with a recruiter! *Nudge, nudge, wink. At RNG, we don’t just focus on recruiting. We also help companies streamline their hiring processes! Interested in learning more? Reach out to Let’s grab coffee!


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