How to Ask a Candidate why they Declined Your Job Offer

As a hiring manager or business owner, you put in significant effort to find the perfect candidate for your job opening. But what happens when you extend a job offer, only to have the candidate decline it? It can be disheartening, but instead of dwelling on the rejection, consider it an opportunity for growth.

The next time you receive a ‘No, thank you’ call or email, express that you harbour no ill feelings and kindly inquire for further insights by asking for feedback.

Understanding why a candidate turned down your offer can provide invaluable insights for improving your hiring process and attracting top talent.

Why Ask for Feedback?

While it may feel uncomfortable to approach a candidate who declined your offer, doing so can offer numerous benefits for your recruitment process and your company as a whole:

  1. Feedback from candidates can help identify gaps or issues in your hiring process, such as overly lengthy decision-making, ineffective communication, or not aligning with candidate expectations.
  2. By demonstrating genuine interest in candidate feedback, you are able to show that your organisation values open communication and respects candidates’ opinions.
  3. Understanding what aspects of the role, company, or package didn’t align with the candidate’s expectations can help you tailor future offers to attract the right candidates.
  4. Engaging with candidates even after they decline an offer can lead to a more positive impression of your organisation, potentially encouraging referrals, or reconsideration in the future.

What Should You Consider When Asking Candidates for Feedback?

When requesting feedback from a candidate who declined your job offer, keep these tips in mind to ensure a respectful and constructive conversation:

  1. Timing is Key: Allow some time to pass before reaching out to the candidate. Give them the opportunity to process their decision and be open to providing feedback.
  2. Choose the Right Communication Method: Some candidates may prefer email, while others may prefer a phone call. Choose a method of communication that the candidate is comfortable with.
  3. Be Respectful: Avoid sounding accusatory or defensive – instead, express appreciation for their time and interest in your organisation.
  4. Use Open-Ended Questions: Encourage the candidate to provide detailed feedback by asking open-ended questions such as, “Can you share what factors led to your decision?” or “What aspects of the role didn’t meet your expectations?”
  5. Implement Positive Changes: Act on the feedback received to make necessary improvements in your hiring process and company culture.

While receiving a job offer rejection is never easy, it’s essential to approach the situation with professionalism and an open mind. By asking candidates for feedback, you show that you value their input and are committed to continuous improvement.

Remember, every interaction is an opportunity to build positive relationships and create a more appealing workplace for future candidates.

Get in touch with us today if you’re looking to simplify your hiring process and secure top talent in tech.

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