The Candidate Accepted Your Offer, Then Turned You Down. What Now?

The Candidate Accepted Your Offer, Then Turned You Down. What Now?

You’re on track to landing an excellent hire. You’re proud of this candidate, and you’re pretty proud of yourself (you must admit) for finding her and negotiating the terms of her employment with style and savoir-faire. You always say “We’re excited to have you onboard!” when you hire a new employee, but this time you really mean it. You’re genuinely looking forward to welcoming her to the workplace and witnessing the positive change that she’s likely to bring.

And then the worst happens. She calls one week before her start date to tell you that she isn’t planning on showing up. You’re disappointed, annoyed, and discouraged. How should you respond? Keep these tips in mind.

Prepare for this beforehand.

As you move through the selection process, don’t slam the door on your second and third place contenders. Let them know you’ve staffed the position and the process is complete, but leave room for possibility. You can tell them directly that they’re runners up (which is always nice to hear), or you can simply tell them that you’ll contact them if your chosen hire falls through. That way they’ll know not to wait by the phone, but if the phone rings, maybe they’ll be willing to take the call.

Share your feelings carefully.

Show your disappointment, but not your annoyance. Explain that you really like the candidate and were looking forward to working together, but stay positive. If you alienate them or respond rudely to their change of plans, you end the relationship forever. If you stay polite and diplomatic, you keep the door open.

Find out why.

The candidate may or may not provide details, but you can feel free to ask. Sometimes the problem is insurmountable (For example: “I received a far better offer elsewhere.”) But sometimes the issue can be sorted out (example: “I never received the promised reimbursement for my travel costs to the interview, which seemed like a pretty big red flag.”) Communication is key. Keep all channels open between the candidate, the recruiter, and the company.

Let them know what you plan to do.

Feel free to leave the candidate with a clear statement like, “We’ll reopen the position” or “We’ll hire someone else.” That way the candidate will know that you’re moving on. Of course, if her change of plans will somehow violate the contractual terms of her employment, let her know what kind of action you plan to take next and what her options are. Again, stay polite.

If you are looking for experts in recruiting to help you with the hiring process of your top candidates, contact the top recruiters in Scottsdale and reach out to the ACCENT Hiring Group.


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