You found a great candidate. Their resume is top-notch. They impressed during the job interview. The background and reference check process made them even more appealing. But when you extend the offer, they turn you down.

As leading headhunters in Northern California, Pacific ExecSearch knows first-hand the amount of time, effort, and resources that go into executive hiring process. That’s why it’s in your best interest to find out the reason behind a top candidate’s job offer rejection. Did the process take too long? Were there red flags that played into their decision? Did they get a better offer from another company? Or did a promotion in their current job change their mind?

Here are several tips to help you get to the bottom of the situation – and avoid it in the future:

Don’t take it personally.

When you’ve invested a lot of time in a candidate this situation can be frustrating. But don’t take it personally. There are any number of reasons a candidate turned down your offer. It’s likely not a reflection on you or your ability to do your job.

Take the right approach to asking the candidate.

When a candidate turns down your offer, don’t starting peppering them with invasive questions about why and what happened. Instead, take a conversational approach. For instance, if they decided to accept another offer, say something like:

“Congratulations on your new job. I’m sorry you’re not going to be joining us, but I’m glad you found an opportunity that seems like the right match for you. Any chance you’d be willing to share what made their offer more competitive? I just don’t want to lose out on talent like you in the future.”

Most candidates will be willing to help you and offer insights, as long as you take a tactful, friendly approach…not accusatory or defensive.

Evaluate your hiring process.

If this situation is happening over and over again – and you can’t get any answers from candidates who turned you down, then there’s an issue with the hiring process. Where are you sourcing your candidates? What kind of interview experience is your company offering them? How are you staying in touch with candidates throughout the hiring process? These are all important areas to evaluate to ensure your hiring process provides a positive and fast-paced experience for candidates.

Do you need more help hiring leaders for your team? Call Pacific ExecSearch. As top headhunters in Northern California, our recruiters has extensive experience in sourcing, evaluating and helping companies hire and retain mission critical professionals for top positions. To learn more about how we can help your organization, please contact us today.