Are your Job Offers being turned down?

You know in my 12 years in the world of recruitment – I have been very fortunate to see a lot of offers made to people.

Offers that have been very successful and genuinely improved people’s lives and grown businesses.

Sadly though, there are offers that after a lengthy interview process and a lot of effort spent on the whole process – the candidate turns down the offer in favour for something else.

The common factor with some offers that get turned down, believe it or not, isn’t just the salary. It goes a lot deeper. So, if you are struggling for offers to stick, here are my thoughts on what the situation could be, and how it could be changed.

The subconscious problem.  

·        The Company perception – The interview process is important to you, but it’s also important to the candidate, this is where they get to see your business first hand. The moment they walk through the door and see the place – it’s a bit like buying a house or a car. The perception of it.

It changes from person to person, but perception of the business when they walk through the door, is extremely important.

·        Is it clean?

·        Is the office/business in a state of disrepair?

·        Are the staff standing around, messing about?

These are the type of things that people see, and makes a subconscious impression to the candidate when they are walking into the business.

·        The Company values and culture – One of the reasons for leaving a company these days is poor or bad management – but also – the ever burden of micromanagement. During the process of interviewing, clever candidates will be asking and assessing you on this. If they believe your business has this culture, the offer will be turned down straight away. But this is a top down problem, which is something that needs to change from the inside out.

Not many HR people will tell you this, but I will – if you have a churn of staff – but blame the employees, then this is why you won’t find great candidates to work for you. The issue lies deeper in the business. But also – great people can see right through this, and know the culture/values are toxic. Some candidate, wont even apply for the job, if this problem goes beyond the walls of business. LinkedIn a great place to check – and do some homework of company culture. What does yours look like?

·        You, the hiring manager – I was counting before writing this blog – how many offers I have turned down, how many I accepted with 100% confidence, and how many I accepted with my Spidey senses tingling, “is this a good idea?”. 100% confidence jobs, was because I believed in the hiring manager. The ones I turned down, or had a suspicion I wasn’t going to be around long – well – it all came down to that hiring manager. One manager offered me a job, but I never met him, he decided to send his senior consultant to meet me, and the reason “far to busy to meet today” thanks for that. If me, a stranger to your business is being treated like that, how do you treat your staff?

Another manager I met, kept saying at offer stage “don’t think about – just take a leap of faith – it can’t go wrong” 6 months later – I was looking for another job, because I took the leap of faith, but he forgot everything we discussed in the interview, and what I needed to be successful. So, I took the leap – he just wanted to fill a job…  

The Conscious problem.

·        What is on offer? 99% of offers I get – tend to stem around one thing… the salary, with the role being discussed before and during the interview. But yet! The offer is still being turned down.

What puts some candidates off, is the offer is based against what has been discussed, even a job specification attached to the offer isn’t enough. A lot of candidate today – from experience tell me that what was discussed in an interview, the job would be changed a little, different area, or even maybe more responsibility – feel of worth, because the job is tailored to them – and what is offered is none of that? It needs to be discussed.  Everything does.

Like what?

·        Progression – what does the role look like in 12 months, 2 years or 5 years? When I interview candidates, and ask, “what are you looking for in the next role?” they always say progression “I want to be a manager by 2 years time..” they take that to an interview – and get told it’s possible. Sometimes a story of how people get promoted in the business and are earning ££££ – but never is it mentioned in an offer? this route to success!? This is important, the candidate wants progression, it needs to be embedded into an offer – what it looks like? How you are going to go the extra mile to retain them.

Because retention – is the secret of recruitment.

·        Purpose – Progression is what happens when you do X, Purpose is what the candidate is doing day to day, and the greater picture to the business, why are they there? This is a strange concept to some managers but, it’s an easy vision to give – why is the role live? What is the purpose of the role, and how important is that role to the business, what is their purpose in the bigger picture. If all they are doing is cycling the wheel of business – and your churning staff/losing offers, this could be the reason why. What is your purpose? Their purpose?

·        Salary, benefits, offers, bonus, perks – This, from experience is where a lot of companies get it wrong. Salary, candidate is looking for £35k – and you offer £32k – chances are, they’ll turn it down. We are in a world where salary is low, and people are moving to better themselves. Salary is important to hit the nail on the head. Coupled with what is actually attached to that. If you get the above right, and offer the £32k salary – chances are the candidate will take the role. Candidate ask for greater salary in some jobs, because the risk of working for that company is higher.

Not many people talk about employee benefits, and when I do ask candidates about employee bens, not many are really fussed. Auto Enrolment is about now, so everyone has a pension – Health care etc – if its on offer, tell them. But then there is the bonuses, commissions structures – they need to be outlined and discussed and added/complimented to the offer. Car allowance or company car? Even this needs to be highlighted at offer, and not a second thought.

I try to push companies to have a meeting or at least a telephone conversation when it comes to offer, and not pushed through an email or letter, that is the follow up – make the offer a thing, a ceremony – a presentation of a gift to the candidate, make them believe they are important to you. Because they are, there is a job opening at the company – that is important to you.

The sad thing is, not every company can have the all singing dancing perfect candidate, some companies don’t know how to retain the best candidates in the market place, let alone know how to offer them. But even though, it doesn’t matter what your company is – What you offer, how you offer and what is on offer – is more crucial today – than ever.

Good luck.