Several years ago, I recruited a candidate for a position and things appeared to be on track process-wise.
Mary (name changed to protect her identity) had the "right" resume, background, and experience for the post, those who interviewed Mary liked her, so I confidently offered her the position.
Two days later, I received a note in the mail from Mary thanking me for the opportunity, but politely declining our offer. To say the least, I was highly disappointed not being able to close our top choice, but over time I've learned that candidates tend to decline formal job offers for many of the following reasons:
Poor Organizational Reputation: After receiving Mary's "thanks, but no thanks" note, I contacted her by phone to ferret out why she declined our offer and after being initially hesitant revealed that she'd discussed our company with her friends and colleagues who dissuaded her from joining our firm.
In the past, the organization earned a reputation as being a bit of a "Wild West Show" and that gets out in an industry where everyone compares notes with one another. This situation occurred less and less over time, but it still stung to lose Mary during that search.
Testing the Marketplace: Once again, you recruit another candidate like Mary who everyone loves and you make a formal employment offer to them; an offer used as "bait" during their salary negotiations with their current employer that they had no intention of leaving in the first place.
In other words, you've been "played," which hurts, but is part of the equation when you recruit talent in a competitive marketplace.
Freddy Krueger: Another time, I had a fantastic candidate that I should have just hired and got her onboard, but at that time was being coached to spread organizational decision making and responsibility, so I had the candidate interview with several managers, hoping that things would go according to plan.
It didn't. She turned down our offer flat. Not happy about the situation, I asked the candidate to lunch to find out what scared a previously-excited candidate off. It turned out that one of our managers behaved like a jerk during her interview and she'd be working closely with this individual, so she decided not to join us.
Freddy left the organization shortly afterward by mutual agreement.
Palace Intrigues: I offered an individual who had been freelancing with us a full-time position; which he declined.
Not only did this candidate turn me down, but shared the details of his offer letter with several employees. We never used his services again.
Thankfully, this was a rare occurrence, but only underscored why a formal recruitment process was in place; which I shelved to bring this "in-house" candidate onboard. Big mistake.
Dead Presidents: Surprisingly, not being able to agree on salary terms largely hasn't been a major stumbling block when I've made job offers in the past. By the time I'd forwarded the formal offer to candidates, we'd usually had a verbal agreement in place that nearly all candidates honored.
However, every once in awhile a candidate would hold me up for an extra $1,000 or $2,000 or extra vacation time. I could usually handle those situations with little difficulty, but sometimes a "Jesse James" candidate would reveal themselves who wanted $5,000 to $10,000 more than we agreed upon verbally and formally. Those were the candidates I generally lost in the end. If a job was budgeted for a $40,000 salary, an extra $10,000 is a lot of money. The candidate's word was also suspect as well.
Changed Their Mind: This has generally been the top reason why candidates have declined formal position offers during my career; they simply decided to stay where they were.
When this happened, it was hard to be upset with someone who thought it through and made an important decision, because in the end it's their life and career, not mine or the companies I represented.
In : 848FINACE
Tags: thanks for your job offer but no thanks