Things were going so well so far (other than the fact you just lost one of your best staff members and you were looking for a high quality candidate to fill the much needed gap in your team).

You had done all the right things, or so you thought, to get your staffing situation back on track, and you were going through things in your mind…..

  • Did I conduct a thorough exit interview to get greater insight about the situation, the role, and how to improve the organisation? Yup.
  • Did I pause, reflect and develop an appropriate job description, including, identifying the knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics needed to effectively perform the role? Tick.
  • What about the internal applicant possibilities? Did I consider others in the organisation that may be able to step into the role before I went and advertised in the external market? Sure did.
  • Did I do my research where an advertisement may be best placed, and did I write a well thought out ad that showcased the unique selling points of the business in order to disturb and attract the most appropriate candidates? Yes, I did that.
  • What about properly screening the candidates based on a preliminary, methodical selection criteria assessment? Done.

So, why after interviewing the most ideal candidate using open-end questions did the preferred candidate opt to turn down a reasonable offer?

There could be a number of reasons why after you said “We do”, and they said “No, I won’t take that job”.   One of the reasons could have been that they were offered a lot more money than you were prepared to offer by someone else, or perhaps there was another job just down the road from where they lived.

Outside of these reasons you may have lost the candidate during the interview process when you got ahead of yourself.

You may have come across as being too excited that you found what you were exactly looking for. You ended up trying to sell the benefits of working for your company too early. You may have even appeared to be slightly desperate as you tried to create a picture of the ideal work environment during your best candidate pitch.

Even though it is a tight market for a number of skill sets, applicants may have several options and generally prefer to not work for an employer that comes across as being too needy. It is best not to sell the job too early.