How Do I Avoid Job Offer Turndowns?

If your job offers are being turned down or applicants are abandoning mid interview process, it likely isn’t just a matter of salary or change of heart. There are very concrete ways to keep candidates interested, engaged, and avoid turning down your offers.

Keep The Momentum Going

Your interview timeline needs to be clear. Candidates need to know how much time to expect between interviews, when they should receive feedback, and when a potential offer will be made. If you’re making your candidates wait – they’ll lose interest. The downtime that you create gives candidates the opportunity to set up interviews with other companies.  You reduce or eliminate your competition when you keep up the interviewing momentum.

Make The Interviews Worth Their Time

Interviews (and interviewers) should be engaging, showcase the company, and create an exchange that goes beyond a resume regurgitation Q&A. Finding a job is stressful and time-consuming. Giving candidates the opportunity to engage is the first step in keeping their interest in your position.  Think outside the box. Interviews can occur outside of boardrooms and Zoom calls. Provide a detailed job description so they can prepare questions and play an active role in the process.

Spend Your Budget

You will pay a premium for good talent. Unemployment is low and highly skilled tech workers are in high demand.  Candidates who are currently employed will likely want a substantial increase in order to make a career move. Be prepared to negotiate – especially if you aren’t offering perks like remote work. It’s OK to advertise your budget with a bit of wiggle room. If the applicant is great, then you get to be in the enviable position to offer them more.  Low-balling a candidate is risky and can backfire even if you go back and forth in negotiations.  Finally, ensure that you have the approval to make offers.

Don’t Hide Your Benefits

Don’t gatekeep your benefits package. Great candidates will turn down competitive compensation because the cost of benefits is too high.  Give your candidates the information they need upfront. There is no sense in holding back the cost of heath insurance or the 401k match until they are deep into the interview process.  Give them the opportunity to calculate whether they can afford to take the job.

Spend Time with the Candidates

While you are trying to create an efficient and time-conscious process, you don’t want to rush the time that you spend with each candidate.  There is a cost to hiring the wrong person for the job.  Interview (and continue interviewing) first-round candidates to build a pipeline of talent.  If a promising candidate turns down the offer, you aren’t left scrambling to restart the process.  Engage with talent who don’t necessarily fit traditional education or career paths.  Take the time to truly engage with each and every person. Find reasons to say yes to candidates.


Turndowns will happen. An old manager will come out of the woodwork. Their current company might present a counteroffer.  However, employing these techniques will give you the best opportunity to onboard the right person to your organization.

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