Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
BACK to Blog
Woman with her head in her hands sitting over a desk.

Did your Candidate Decline the offer? How to Handle it

Congratulations! You've done the interviews, and you found the perfect candidate for your position. You call them and make them an offer- but the dreaded follow-up news you hear: candidate declined offer. Unfortunately, this does happen from time to time.  

When you decide you want to offer a job to a candidate, you hope they want the job as much as you want to give it to them. Regrettably, this does happen. There will be times when you will interview a candidate, and everything seems to be perfect. But when you extend the offer, they decide it's not something they want.  

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the reasons why a candidate might decline your offer and things you can do to rectify the situation.

Reasons a Candidate Declines Job Offer

There are several reasons a candidate declines job offers. These reasons are:

Unhappy with Compensation/Benefit Package

Perhaps they had another offer that they felt was better, or maybe you were not willing to move closer to what the candidate wanted, and they weren't willing to move down to what you were offering. When hiring, you must never forget that great talent is going to cost you. It is important to ask why a candidate declined the offer the better improve recruiting and selling jobs in the future.

Company Culture isn’t a Good Fit

When you are interviewing a candidate, you must remember that they are also interviewing you. Gen Y’s, more than any other generation, is concerned with company culture. As the leader of your company, you must make sure you create a culture where people want to work. Reflect on the type of place people want to work in and then create that in your business. As recruiters.it is also important to practice selling jobs to candidates to properly convey company culture to job seekers.

Additionally, because getting the feel of the work environment is directly related to the interview, it is important to also train managers for interviewing. Make sure they have open conversations with a friendly manner. If there are any company culture commitments like diversity and inclusion, highlight it in conversation. You can learn more about showing commitments here.

Job isn’t What They Expected

In some cases, when the candidate finds out more about the job, it’s not what they expected. Also, they may feel the job is out of their skill/expertise or even below their capabilities. If that is the case, take note of reasons why the candidate declined the offer and stay connected with them. They may be a better fit for a future job.

The Location is Bad

These days, the cost of fuel is increasing by the day. This has caused commuting to become a factor in the candidate's decision to accept or decline a job offer. Many people even find commuting detrimental to their work-life balance. Communicate with the client to see if there if any flexibility for remote work prior to contacting candidates. A candidate it less likely to decline an offer if there are options to work from home.

Zero Work/Life Balance

This is another factor that has become important- especially to Gen Y’s. They crave work-life balance. If you’re not offering perks that support a good work-life balance, consider doing so to make your position more desirable. Try highlighting benefits, company initiatives, and retention strategies.

Online Reviews are Negative

When you're shopping online, chances are you check out the reviews. These days, with everything online, people do that with jobs. Several sites allow employees to review their employers. This can be great or bad, depending on the type of place your company is to work for. Ensure you have a team to deal with reviews on Google My Business, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and more.

Process Took Too Long

When the process takes a long time, candidates become frustrated. This causes them to lose momentum and interest in your company, and they end up taking a job somewhere else. Do not be surprised if after a 4-month interview review, you end up finding out the candidate declined the offer. It’s important to be thorough, but it’s also important to value your candidate’s time.

Recruiting Process is Terrible

This goes hand-in-hand with the above reason. When applying and interviewing for a job, candidates pay attention to the process. If they feel it was disorganized or exhausting, they will think you don’t value them and their time.

The Interviewer is the Problem

When it comes to the interview, everyone puts their best face forward. However, candidates can pick up on the vibe and whether the interviewer (and others) are real or not. If they have other equal options and the interviewer appears distracted/disinterested or makes them wait, chances are that will be a reason candidates declined the offer.

How to Handle Rejection

Now that you know some of the common reasons a candidate might decline an offer let's consider ways to handle it.

Question and answer for if candidate declining offers.

Be Gracious with Your Response

Though it's frustrating when a candidate turns you down, you must still be gracious with your response. If your response is an angry one, they may leave you a bad review. You can express your disappointment, but don't put them on a guilt trip. Thank them for their time and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Ask the Candidate Why They Declined an Offer

One of the things you must do when your offer is declined is learn how to ask a candidate why they declined an offer- especially if they don’t give you a reason.

This may help you place them in the future. As you have seen, there are several reasons why they may reject an offer. Depending on their reason, your client might be able to adjust the offer. Never try to force a candidate to accept an offer. If they do and they’re not happy, your client won’t be happy either and may find another recruiting firm to work with. Additionally, if they do accept, it is possible they will not stay with the company long-term.

Don’t Ditch the Candidate

If you find a candidate declined offer, don’t ditch them. Just because that one wasn’t a great fit doesn’t mean that you won’t have another offer for them in the future that is perfect. Connected with them on LinkedIn and stay in touch.

Move On

If the candidate declines an offer, move on to the next one if the client has one in mind. If there are no more candidates on the list, focus on finding some for your client. While this may mean starting over, you’ll have a better idea of what type of candidate to look for.

Examine Experience of Candidates

If you start to notice a pattern with the candidates turning down offers, look at the experience of those candidates and find the common denominator. Maybe the client is the issue, or perhaps it's something to do with the interview process. On the other hand, if you find that jobs are being declined across the board, it could be your recruiting process.


As you can see, there are several reasons why a candidate might decline an offer- and there are ways that you can respond professionally. If you are struggling in this area, Advantis Global can remove the stress of staffing for you. We specialize in creative, gaming, government cybersecurity, and IT staffing.

Table of Contents
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.

Contact us
Back to Top
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Share this post:
Advantis Global
AG Studios
Advantis Government Solutions