How Do You Adjust When a Top Candidate Declines an Offer?


    How Do You Adjust When a Top Candidate Declines an Offer?

    When a top candidate declines an offer at the eleventh hour, it can be a pivotal moment for reflection and strategy adjustment. A Recruitment Specialist begins the conversation highlighting the importance of recognizing 'yellow flags.' Alongside their insight, a panel of seasoned professionals share their experiences highlighting a range of strategies, from adjusting compensation packages to incorporating essential discussions into the recruitment process. Explore these valuable strategies to maintain momentum after an unexpected decline.

    • Recognize Missed 'Yellow Flags'
    • Review Compensation Packages
    • Analyze Feedback from the Declined Offer
    • Keep Options Open, Appreciate Potential
    • Incorporate Work-Life Balance Discussions

    Recognize Missed 'Yellow Flags'

    It's been my experience that if we've lost a candidate at the last minute, then I've missed the 'yellow flags' initially. My number-one priority is to ask them what's most important for them in the next step of their career. Just focusing on skill set and previous experience on their resume leaves room for last-minute disappointment.

    Jenna Sandford
    Jenna SandfordRecruitment Specialist, Oliver and Bonacini Hospitality

    Review Compensation Packages

    I've encountered various challenging situations, including instances where top candidates have declined our job offers at the last minute. Here's how I've handled such a situation, ensuring that our operations remain smooth and our team morale stays high.

    There was a situation where a candidate declined our offer due to a better package elsewhere. This prompted a review of our compensation packages compared to industry standards. We realized the need for adjustment not only to remain competitive but also to reflect the value we place on top talent. Subsequently, we improved our offer structure to make it more appealing, which has since helped us secure and retain exceptional candidates more effectively.

    Alari Aho
    Alari AhoCEO and Founder, Toggl Inc

    Analyze Feedback from the Declined Offer

    When a top candidate declined our offer at the last minute, I focused on adaptability. I immediately reviewed our backup candidates and initiated outreach to keep the process moving. I also analyzed feedback from the declined offer, identifying gaps in our hiring process. This swift response allowed us to engage another strong candidate quickly, avoiding significant delays. I kept communication transparent with our team, ensuring they understood the changes. This approach maintained momentum, reduced disruption, and underscored the importance of resilience in recruitment.

    Dhari Alabdulhadi
    Dhari AlabdulhadiCTO and Founder, Ubuy Netherlands

    Keep Options Open, Appreciate Potential

    Absolutely, I've encountered this in the tech world where our star candidate declined at the eleventh hour. It wasn't easy, but we view rapid changes as an industry norm. We refocused and returned to our runner-up selections. We gave more consideration to a candidate previously overlooked, and interestingly, they proved to be remarkably competent, even surpassing our original choice. This situation became a learning opportunity—to keep our options open, not getting locked into one candidate, and appreciating the potential in every person.

    Abid Salahi
    Abid SalahiCo-founder & CEO, FinlyWealth

    Incorporate Work-Life Balance Discussions

    Surprisingly, our top candidate for the position of supply chain specialist declined our offer. After thanking her, I learned her current employer had upped their offer to address work-life balance, a factor that should have been mentioned previously. This valuable feedback prompted us to include work-life balance discussions throughout interviews and explore flexible start dates. While missing out on our top candidate was disappointing, it helped us improve our recruitment strategy.

    Faizan Khan
    Faizan KhanPublic Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy Australia