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It’s one of the most frustrating parts of hiring process for Companies and Recruiters alike – going through the entire hiring process to get to the end and have the offered candidate accept a role somewhere else or say no to the position.

We’ve seen it happen a lot over the years and whilst there have been some truly unique and unexpected reasons for a candidate not accepting position, most of the time, the reasons fit into certain categories.

Since we’re often asked the question – we thought we’d share the top reasons we find that companies lose out on candidates they want to hire.





This is the number 1 reason that a candidate doesn’t accept a role – usually because the process takes too long, timelines blow out or they haven’t heard from the hiring manager in too long a time period.

Top talent is a valuable commodity (in pretty much any sector) so if you’re on the hunt for a certain type of candidate, chances are someone else is too. If you allow your hiring process to take too long you run the risk of another company making them an offer in the meantime.

Our Advice? If you find a candidate that is the perfect fit for the job, hire them. Present a verbal offer pending whatever else has to be completed (stating intent) and then nut out the other details. The candidate will stop looking at other options as they feel secure in yours.



Interview Process


Running hand in hand with timing is the interview process. We’ve found two main culprits in interview processes that tends to see companies lose candidates:


  1. The process takes too long / or is clunky. Obviously ensuring you hire the correct candidate for the job is very important (and expensive if you get it wrong) but when a hiring process is overly stringent or doesn’t make sense candidates may become confused, receive another offer or feel lost as to whether or not they are progressing. A long process is not a bad thing, but ensure you outline what the candidate can expect at the beginning.
  2. The process is too fast. When an interview process is really quick or doesn’t involve the candidate visiting the workplace, they aren’t always able to gain a mental image of themselves working there. Immersion / painting a picture of their potential working life is a valuable tool for aiding the candidate in their decision making process.



You Don’t ‘Sell’ the Role


The phrase “selling the role” may sound a little crass on the ears, but the concept is sound. The more information a candidate has on a position, projects, their colleagues, the company, culture and potential career progression etc the better equipped they are to make a decision in your favour.

In declining job markets where candidates are plentiful and companies and can pick and choose this may not be necessary, but in any market where good talent is scarce, assuming the candidate “should just want” to work for you and not making them feel as though they couldn’t possibly work anywhere else will see you lose candidates.





Losing a candidate to a counter-offer from either the company they were leaving or another competitor is supremely frustrating. Whilst not all candidates are motivated by money, it remains an important factor to keep in mind.

Setting your expectations and discovering the candidate’s expectations on money early in the process can go a long way towards mitigating this risk and understanding if you’re on the same page. Following this up with ensuring they become invested in your job during the interview process, money will be become less of a factor.



Location / Commute


This one seems to sneak up on employers and recruiters, when it seems like such a basic thing to sort out early on. The problem is generally based around a candidate not realising the length of the commute. If you think the commute is likely to become an issue for the candidate, then it isn’t a bad idea to suggest they give the commute a trial run during peak hours to suss out its length.



Poor Communication from the Recruiter


Whilst there may be a myriad of reasons Recruiters lose the hire, the most common one that stands out is poor communication.

Maybe you oversold the role and the client couldn’t match it, maybe you didn’t give the candidate vital information or even enough information, maybe you didn’t relay information from the client accurately or vice versa.

Whatever the issue was, communication is one of the most important aspects of a recruiter’s job alongside honesty, transparency and correct representation. Whilst everyone makes mistakes, striving for clear communication will help to lose less hires in the future.


Have any others? We’d love to hear from you.