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What to Do When a Star Candidate Turns Down Your Job Offer

Have you reached out to a star candidate for a job opening only for them to decline your offer? What steps should you take when a candidate turns down your job offer? Read on and find out.

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Have you reached out to a star candidate for a job opening only for them to decline your offer? What steps should you take when a candidate turns down your job offer? Read on and find out.


To have a top prospect you've been chasing turn down your job offer is a huge letdown for both you and the company. However, handling the situation with utmost professionalism and respect is paramount. By doing so, you have the chance to minimize the impact on the hiring process and open up new opportunities for future collaborations.

As frustrating as it may be, searching for and interviewing potential candidates is important to find the best talent for your company. Most recruiters try to make their hiring process run more smoothly but still end up being turned down by candidates. It's a bitter pill to swallow. So, what should you do when a candidate turns down your job offer? Let’s dive deep and find out. 


Ask for the candidate’s feedback 

Take the initiative to contact the candidate and find out why they turned down your offer. This will give you a glimpse into your organization's hiring practices. If there are any issues with the process, addressing them will be the correct course of action. 

Also, as companies do background checks on candidates, the opposite happens as well. There's a chance the applicant completed their due diligence on the company and came across information that turned them off. Taking a look into reviews about your company in the public domain and identifying issues is crucial for attracting more quality candidates.


Maintain communication

If the star candidate proved to be the right fit for your company, then it would be sensible to keep in touch with them. Blocking all communication with the candidate may show immaturity on the company’s side, and the candidate may spread the word about this behaviour. 

If the candidate is open to discussion, you can ask why they declined the offer. Perhaps they developed cold feet, or the interview questions were out of place. However, if the candidate refuses to pick up any calls or respond to emails, it is clear they are disinterested in working for the company, and it would be best to let them go. 


Evaluate your offer

If you dig a little deeper, you might be able to find out why a potential hire turned down your job offer. For example, the salary may be too low for their position, or the benefits package might not have been as competitive. Consider each facet of your deal and adjust it to appeal to your next-best candidate.

Sometimes it's best to be more flexible with your offer to attract the top candidates. Getting their input will help you determine whether you can negotiate better terms. If the terms cannot be negotiated to everyone's satisfaction, it is advisable to split ways with the applicant.


Improve your company culture

Even if your company offers the income and benefits package that top candidates are looking for, they won't be interested if the workplace environment is toxic. When interviewing a star candidate, it helps to be clear and definitive about the company's values. It's important that the candidate's interests, such as open communication and teamwork, are reflected in the principles you're promoting.

It is acceptable and easy to comprehend when anything like this actually occurs. To dwell on the rejection is to restrict yourself from looking for other qualified individuals who might be willing to accept an offer.


Move forward

As an employer, understanding that a candidate might turn down your job offer is important for a healthy hiring process. You may have tried reassessing your company culture or simply asking the candidate why they denied your offer, but the candidate still shows absolutely no interest in working for your company.

When this happens, it is fine and understandable. Dwelling on the rejection prevents you from searching for other top candidates that may accept your offer. 


Evaluate your hiring process

A candidate turns down your job offers based on the hiring process. For example, they may have come from another interview with an exciting and engaging hiring process, while yours may be slightly dull. Looking into every aspect of your hiring process is crucial in landing those top candidates.

Examine how competitors run their hiring processes and see how yours measures up. Are they using casual language? Do they have a Q&A session? Tailor your process towards what attracts most candidates by having well-written and attractive job descriptions. It's also a good idea to make use of Fuzu, which provides a large pool of qualified professionals looking for work.



It can be frustrating and disruptive to the hiring process when a top candidate declines an offer. You need a professional approach to the matter if you want to find flaws in your hiring process. Contact the candidate first and express gratitude for their interest. Next, inquire as to why they declined the offer; this will give you information that can be used to improve your hiring practices. When rejected, keep things on a positive note with the top candidate, refine your hiring practices, and examine your company's culture.

Written by

Bret Leon Asugo

Bret Leon Asugo is a creative content writer with industry expertise in ghostwriting, copywriting, guest posting, and corporate blogging. He works closely with B2B and B2C businesses providing content that is optimized for search engine rankings and gains social media traction. A writer by day and reader by night, he believes that everything has been said. But nobody has said it with your voice.

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