When a Candidate Rejects Your Job Offer

Written by Meg Struthers | April 11, 2023

Why rejections happen and how you can work to prevent them

Rejection stings, no matter which side of the equation you’re on. They sting even more when they come at the end of a long interview process, after you think you’ve found the dream person you want to join your team. You reach out, you make the offer…and they turn you down. What happened?

Candidates reject job offers for a variety of reasons. Read on to learn more about why rejections happen, and what steps you can take to try and prevent them.


Just as the candidate might have been up against others for your role, you are in direct competition with any other companies they are interviewing at. How long was your process compared to others? Was it drawn out, with multiple rounds of interviews, or with intensive assessments or tests? Did you allow the candidate time to ask questions? Quick, efficient, open interviewing is needed to keep candidates engaged and excited for a position. The longer you make the process, the more time you are giving them to seek alternative roles at companies who will move faster. The stricter you make the process, the harder you are making it for them to learn more about you and have their own questions answered.


A big factor in rejected job offers often comes down to what is being presented as the salary. Many times, a candidate will apply to a job knowing the salary upfront…but after taking part in interviews and getting a better sense of the full responsibilities of the role, they ask for an increase at offer time. Review all posted job descriptions and make sure that you are offering fair compensation that takes into account all the parameters of what the person will be expected to do.

The job market and the economy also have an effect on what is considered fair compensation. Increasing market values for certain positions, the rising cost of inflation—candidates will be considering all of this and more when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer.

If you’re not able to adjust the direct compensation, try and take a look at the big picture. Offering remote work, flexible hours, or additional PTO can also be a great way to stand out to a candidate.


In today’s digital world, online reviews from current employees are becoming more and more valuable. Interviewees and job search candidates will often look your company up on Glassdoor or other review sites to see what it’s actually like to work there. It’s imperative that you are creating and maintaining an open, welcoming, flexible culture that not only attracts new people, but also keeps the ones you already have. All it takes is one or two disgruntled reviews to plant seeds of doubt in a potential new hire’s mind.


At the end of the day, there is no magic fix or trick to guarantee all offers you make will be accepted. However, taking steps to create a fair, transparent, efficient hiring process can help to move many of the hurdles that might pop up at the finish line. Partnering with IT recruiting agencies, like Market Street Talent, is a smart way to gain additional strategic guidance for all things hiring.

If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to Meg at mstruthers@marketstreettalent.com or send us a general message here!