It happened. You went through the entire hiring process, interviewed countless applicants, came up with your top three list, and then realized you had found the one—the perfect fit for the job you were hoping to fill.
When you extended that offer, you did so already envisioning this person in that role. So when they said “no,” essentially swiping left on your offer, the letdown was real.
Is There Room for Negotiation?
First things first: why did they say “no?” Rejection always hurts, and human instinct is to just back away and let it go—but if you can find out why your dream candidate turned this offer down, you might have a chance to turn things around. Or, at the very least, to gain some insight into how to prevent being rejected by the next candidate you offer to.
If it’s about money, or benefits, or if they’ve simply received a better offer from someone else—you might be able to salvage this. Especially if you still have a bit of wiggle room in your budget. Ask the candidate to come up with a counteroffer, and then go from there.
But even if they are adamant in their decision, listen to what they are saying when they explain why they’re turning your offer down. Perhaps your budget isn’t in line with industry standards. Or maybe your company’s reputation isn’t what you thought it was.
It’s also possible their rejection has nothing to do with the job itself, and everything to do with personal reasons—maybe they’ve just decided to move out of state, for instance. But if there is something about the company and offer itself that has this candidate holding back, knowing what that is can put you in a position to better anticipate and prevent a similar offer rejection in the future.
Was There a Close Runner-Up?
So, your first candidate turned you down. How did you feel about the runner-up? Were they equally qualified and just barely edged out by your first choice? Or would you forever lament everything they don’t bring to the table if you were to extend an offer to them? If the answer is the latter, don’t extend that offer. No matter how much you need to fill that role, settling on an applicant that isn’t quite right is only going to mean you’re back in this same position, with a role that needs to be filled, not too far down the line.
If you have a close runner-up, by all means, extend the offer to them—but short of that, get back to the drawing board.
Is it Time to Enlist the Help of a Recruiter?
Of course, returning to that drawing board can be especially frustrating after weeks (months?) of trying to fill this role. And if you feel like you’ve already exhausted all your best resources in trying to get eyes on this opening, it might be time to enlist the help of a recruiter. Remember, a strong recruiter often has a network and reach far beyond your wildest dreams—and in most cases, can likely even bring you candidates who surpass the qualities of that perfect applicant you already loved and lost.
Don’t waste too much time spinning your wheels in trying to fill a role that seems impossible to fill. If you’re starting over, bring in a professional who can help. ManUP today for success tomorrow…