7 Reasons Talented People Reject Your Job Offers

Kelly Spors

The job market is ultra-competitive again, and if you’re not careful, you might be unknowingly driving away talented people.

Everyone will assert they’re excited to work for your company when you’re interviewing them.  But why, then, do some people who seemed so interested initially end up rejecting your offer? Here are the top seven reasons people reject your job offers.

1. They have a better job lined up.

Most people won’t turn down a solid job offer unless they have another opportunity in the wings—whether that’s a job they’re already doing or another offer they’ve received. That should make you wonder: What are those other employers offering that you’re not? It might be time for some competitive research.

2. You’re not offering enough money.

Salary isn’t everything—yet, for many people, it’s a top factor. The 2014 MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study found that inadequate salary and benefits were the second most common reason people rejected job offers. That said, you may be able to allay some concerns about salary by showing job candidates that your workplace environment rocks, says Ian Cameron of the McQuaig Institute, a Toronto-based talent management organization. “If you can’t compete on money, let your existing employees bridge the gap by signaling how happy they are working at your company,” he writes.

3. They don’t like your personality.

Believe it or not, people may not like you—or at least they fear what kind of boss you’ll be. Maybe you send the vibe that you’re a micromanager, inconsiderate or difficult to please. Take a look in the mirror before you start conducting job interviews and consider what kind of impression you make on interviewees. “Don’t be a jerk,” extols Allison Green at The Fast Track, adding: “Remember, good people have options, and few of them will want to work for a jerk.”

4. They get a bad vibe from the workplace.

What kind of energy does your workplace give off? Do people seem happy and engaged, or are they bored or even disgruntled? Your workplace environment could be your best asset—or it could be your worst .

5. The job isn’t rewarding or stimulating enough.

When the economy is good, people get choosier about what jobs they’ll accept. And some job hunters might be holding out for the ideal job, one that stimulates them intellectually. Consider how you can make your jobs seem more rewarding. That could mean giving new hires freedom to work on projects that interest them personally or promising to help them get the professional training they want.

6. Your benefits package isn’t competitive.

Receiving a strong benefits package—including a retirement plan, health insurance and other types of insurance—can be important to certain people, especially those with families. Consider how you can make your benefits package stronger. If you can’t afford lots of traditional benefits, at least consider low-cost benefits that will make your employees happy (like more vacation time).

7. You’re not flexible enough.

Most people are crazy busy and could use a some relief, or at least a little flexibility in their work arrangement. If you’re not recognizing the desire for flexible scheduling and telecommuting—or accommodating workers who may need to leave early every so often—you might be missing out on talented workers who are bypassing your offers. A 2014 survey conducted by SAP and Oxford Economics found that flexible work location and flexible scheduling were among the top things employees value at work.

Of course, some common reasons people turn down job offers are completely out of your control. Maybe they live too far from your office and dread the commute. Or maybe the hours aren’t a good fit. But before you assume it’s one of those things, make sure it’s not one of the reasons above.


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