6 reasons your candidates say no

Date Published: 18-01-2018

We’ve all been there. We’ve put in the time and effort identifying the new role, writing the job description, identifying the perfect candidate after having screened countless CVs, followed the interview process, only to have the candidate decline our offer.

In the current candidate led market, employers have to stay on top of their game if they want to hire the best talent, meanwhile candidates are spoilt for choice.

Did you know, in a recent poll, salary and benefits only reached number 6 in the top 10 most important things that candidates look for in a new role? This just goes to show that an increasing number of candidates are looking at the many other factors that come with the, now popularly dubbed, “candidate experience”.

So what are you doing wrong?

Well, here are 6 reasons why your candidates are saying “no”.


You’re too slow
You post a job, allow a couple of weeks to receive applicants, spend a few days shortlisting after the closing date, and then schedule interviews for the following week once you’ve coordinated manager’s diaries.

This means it could take nearly 4 weeks between someone applying for a job and attending an interview, let alone getting to offer stage. Most candidates won’t have placed all of their eggs in your basket, so having a lengthy recruitment process isn’t ideal for you if your candidate is interviewing elsewhere.

In the fast paced world of recruitment, a lot can change in 4 weeks, and even a few days could be the different between a “yes” and a “no” on your offer. So what do you do?

Review CVs as you go along, and if you spot a candidate that ticks all your boxes, take action, be decisive, and get the ball rolling. If you have to have 3 stage interviews, ensure you can get through them in a timely manner, and always keep in touch.


You’re penny pinching
There’s nothing more disheartening than being taken all the way through a lengthy interview process, having discussed compensation and benefits, only to be offered a salary that is less than expected.

This will not only make your candidate feel undervalued, but will also make them question the integrity of the business as whole, as well as their own future prospects with your company. Who would accept a job feeling like this?

You need to be transparent from the get-go. Always make sure you understand your candidate’s salary expectations, and be honest if you cannot offer what they are asking.

Of course, if you feel the skill set of the candidate is worth less than they are asking for then this is different, but we’d advise having a conversation with the candidate (or Recruiter if you’ve used one) to discuss your concerns from the start. Approaching it like this vastly improves your chances of securing the candidate.


The sell in the interview was one-way
Great! You know all about your candidate’s experience, skills, and expectations, and you’re sure you want them to come back for a second stage interview. But did you give them a reason to come back?

The interview is a two-way process, not only for finding out whether the candidate is suitable for your role and company, but it’s also for the candidate to decide whether your role and company is right for them.

One of the reasons your candidates are saying no, is because you haven’t sold them the role and company to your candidate.

There’s a lot more to a role than what’s written in black and white on a job description, and if your candidate knows nothing about the team fit, personal progression, and future plans for the business, how can you expect them to have the desire to work for you?

Drill down into your candidate’s motivations. If they’re looking for stability and your company has a low staff turnover, sell it to them. If it’s career progression, then perhaps bring in a longstanding member of the team to meet them and get them to talk about their journey with the company.


You’re stuck in your ways
In our recent Salary Survey, 39.9% of respondents said that one of their main motivators for changing roles would be for an improved lifestyle, and a quarter said the ability to work from home is an attractive prospect.

An increasing amount of candidates are now looking to work for companies whose approach will allow them to have a better work/life balance, and that includes flexible working. But it is also surprising how many companies do not offer this option because “it’s what they have always done”.

If your candidate has expressed that they need to have a flexible working option, you need to consider if this is going to be a viable option from the start, and discuss it during the interview.

If this is something that simply cannot be offered, you need to be transparent with your candidate (or Recruiter, if you’ve used one) as the role clearly is not for them, and they aren’t the right candidate for you.


First impressions were lasting – unfortunately
What do you think about a candidate that has turned up late, poorly dressed, and ill-prepared for their interview?

Well, when a candidate is kept waiting in a stuffy room and finds out you’ve not even read their CV, guess what? They think the same about you.

If you expect your candidate to make a great first impression, you need to make sure your business can mirror that. After all, according to a study by Monster, more than two thirds of job seekers turn down a job if their first impressions are sub-standard. Of those, 60% said even a poor handshake would put them off, so get practicing!


You’ve “bent the truth”
With the industry currently being candidate led and many business competing for the same talent, it can be quite tempting to tell your candidates what you think they want to hear in order to secure them quickly.

However this can be extremely detrimental, as you will then be quickly expected to live up to the high standards you have set for yourself and the company.

Research shows that 68% of candidates who leave a job within the first 3 months leave because the role and company were not the same as they were told in interview.

Not only is this frustrating for your candidate, but will also gain you a bad reputation for over-promising and under delivering.


Never before have candidates had so much choice when looking for their next career move, so if you are guilty of any of the above, perhaps it’s time to consider changing the way you hire.