Monday, December 30, 2013

Declining an Offer

You have been in interviewing for a job.  It has gone very well and they have extended you an offer.   For whatever reason you know you are not going to accept.  At Apparel Resource our candidates have changed their mind for many reasons.  They have a competing offer that is more compelling.  They have been offered a new role or counter offer to stay where they are.  They decide they are not ready to relocate…there can be many reasons.
It is important to be sensitive to the time and effort of the people who were involved in evaluating, preparing and extending the offer you are going to decline.  The best way to decline an offer is honestly, promptly and gratefully.   When a position is open it creates stress and work for the people on that team.  When the employer gets close to offer stage the people involved are usually excited and hopeful that the candidate will accept.   When a candidate declines there is disappointment.

We have had candidates know they are not going to accept but they want to avoid the difficult conversation.  They avoid the conversation by not returning phone calls emails or texts. This leaves the employer with a very negative impression. We have had employers tell us at this point that if the candidate will not manage the conversation around declining an offer that they would no longer consider hiring the candidate in the future.
If you are working through a recruiting agency like Apparel Resource it is best to let your agency know the moment you have decided not to accept.  We then get working immediately on other candidate options for the employer.  We also help prepare you to have the direct conversation with the hiring manager and the HR/recruiting professional in the organization.   This conversation should be done with thought and sensitivity so that these people understand your decision and would consider you for future options if your situation changes.  It is important to be direct, honest and thank them for their time and effort.  For example:  “This has been a difficult decision but I have decided to accept an offer with another company.  The organizational structure they have offers me greater long term career growth.  I really appreciate the time you have spent with me and the offer you extended.” 

Responding directly with a live phone call is professional and courteous.  Do not leave your answer in a voice message or send it via email.  The live direct conversation gives closure to those that were involved and should leave the door open behind you should you want to reconsider this employer in the future.

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