How to Learn & Grow from Rejected Offers... and Prevent them in the Future

How to Prevent Rejected Offers

October 7, 2021


Rejection happens. Whether you’re dating, applying for a home, aiming for a big promotion, or chasing down top talent, chances are you’ve gotten your hopes up once or twice just to be let down. It hurts. Unfortunately, recruiters face their fair share of disappointments when seemingly perfect hires turn down their job offers. Rejected offers are disheartening. Especially after you’ve gotten your hopes up about a great candidate, conducted rounds of interviews, checked references, and finished salary negotiations. It can all feel like a lot of wasted time and effort, along with the feeling that a perfect hire slipped through your fingertips. In today’s job seekers’ market, recruiters need to work even harder to ensure the interview process caters to the candidates and that job offers are as enticing as possible.

According to a 2019 survey conducted by PWC, almost half of all U.S. job seekers in high-demand industries (including tech, energy, and banking), turned down job offers because of a poor recruiting experience. After a rejection, all that’s left to do in this scenario is activate your resilience and get back out there. Like anything negative in business or in life, there are key takeaways that you can turn into positive learning opportunities. Below are key takeaways you can learn from rejected job offers, and how you can strengthen your chances of accepted offers going forward.

1. Review your Interview Process

The first line of defense against a rejected offer is a positive interview experience. If you’ve recently had a candidate turn down an offer and can’t pinpoint why, it may be time to take a look at your interview process.


Check in with all interviewers. What was their feedback from the interview experience? Perhaps an interviewer was disengaged or was unable to answer all the candidate’s questions.

Length and difficulty.

Was the interview process particularly long or difficult? Assess if all of the meetings and evaluations were necessary, or if it would be possible to combine anything. Where you live and what industry you work in will factor in, but note that the average hiring process in the U.S. takes 23.8 days. If your process is taking far longer than that, you may need to reassess your strategy.


Was the process disorganized? If responses are delayed or interviewers come unprepared, this could make candidates feel uneasy about joining an organization, as it signals the team might struggle with planning and communicating.


Before starting any interviews, hiring managers, recruiters, and everyone involved in the process should always be on the same page. It’s beneficial to set a meeting before interviews begin to discuss language, job responsibilities, and potential questions. This will help ensure all parties are aligned and that the candidate doesn’t receive mixed messages.

2. Compensation

As you know, it’s a competitive market and what you are able to offer candidates financially will be a deciding factor in whether they accept your job offer or not. Don’t skimp on your market research. Evaluate the job based on skills required, education level, and working conditions. Make sure you know what the industry salary average is for the position, and even what your competitors are paying. It may also be helpful to share what a candidate can expect in terms of bonuses and raises based on performance over time. If you’re hiring at an early stage startup and can’t offer a competitive salary, are you able to offer equity? Make sure you communicate the value of equity to candidates who might be younger or new to the startup world. Lastly, always remember that compensation goes beyond salaries. Great health benefits, paid leave, and retirement packages will also entice candidates to take your offer.

3. Other Considerations

While a positive interview process and strong compensation package will help secure your dream candidate, there are some additional considerations, too.

Growth Opportunities.

Beyond monetary compensation, be able to communicate the value of the opportunity you’re offering. If a candidate doesn’t feel an opportunity for career growth, learning and development, or a supportive culture, it’s likely they will pass on the offer to work with you. In fact, 82% of employees believe they’ll need to hone their current skills and acquire new skills to compete in the global market, making learning & development a huge plus.


Make sure your brand is visible online and has a strong social media presence. This will help answer questions for your candidates prior to their interview, as well as give them a better understanding of your company’s voice. Being on social media is even more important if you want to attract Millennial and Gen Z candidates who want to work for meaningful companies. If the interview process goes well, but the candidate doesn’t feel your brand is represented well online, they might pass.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Employees want to work on diverse teams. They also want to work for organizations that have values in line with their own. 86% of employees state working in a diverse team is important to them.


This is a big one now that job seekers are in control of the market. Candidates want more control over their schedules. After over a year and a half of remote work, employees know they can be productive working from home and want the option to do so going forward. This doesn’t mean all candidates want to work from home exclusively, but flexibility is key!

When you evaluate your interview process and combine these tips & tricks, you’ll increase your chances of candidates accepting your offers and have a more engaged, collaborative, and motivated workforce!

Check out our other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.

About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at

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Recruiting Life, Recruiting Strategies