The recruitment process is not only a test for your candidates; it’s also a test for your business.

Recruitment puts all your business’ culture, values and opportunities under a microscope for all to see and if quality candidates don’t like what they see, they are likely to decline any offer you put forward to them. It’s important to remember that in the current economy where there are more job openings and a severe skills gap, candidates hold the most power on the jobs market. This means that even if you feel that an interview went well and that a candidate perfectly fits in with your company culture there is still no guarantee that they will accept your offer of employment. So, what do you do when your perfect candidate declines your offer in favour of another employer? Here are three things to keep in mind when turned down by top candidates.


If candidates declining your offers is becoming a regular occurrence for your business it may be time to take a look at your recruitment process in detail. Make sure you are reaching out to candidates through different mediums, don’t just focus your attention on job boards; branch out to social media or set up shop at local recruitment fairs or universities. This will add diversity to your talent pool and bring in candidates with a wider range of needs and expectations.

It’s also important to review your interview process. As the first face-to-face interaction with your business, candidates use the experience to form judgements and impressions, which they will later use when making a decision on whether or not to accept a job offer. With this in mind, think about where you hold interviews, does the environment reflect your business’ identity? Who do they meet when they arrive? Is there a process in place to make them feel welcome? With apathetic staff and vague or rushed answers being the biggest bugbears among candidates; making sure you are delivering a positive and informative experience to candidates can dramatically improve your odds at winning them over when it comes to pitching them an offer.

Don’t Overlook

With the skills gap continuing to grow candidates that rank highly within their field are in constant demand, meaning that you may miss out on your top choice when recruiting. However, with the number of job candidates still far outweighing available positions chances are there is still a great deal of talent out there for you to choose from. If you miss out on your first choice, go back through your other candidates and contact those who may have been overlooked before they are poached by someone else. Sometimes zoning in on one incredible candidate who already ticks all the boxes can mean you miss out on hiring a rough diamond who when given a chance, can transform into one of your best ever hiring decisions.

Don’t Panic

Finding the perfect candidate is never going to happen overnight so don’t panic when your top pick turns you down. If a candidate is faced with another offer which better fits their needs of course they are going to go for it, don’t take it personally. Perhaps it offered them a shorter, less stressful commute or more flexible working hours. Either way chances are there is a candidate out there who finds your offer just as perfect; the important thing is to be proactive and make yourself visible to them.