Talent Acquisition

Rejecting Offers: When to Call a Candidate’s Bluff

I want to let you in on a particular bugbear of mine, and one which afflicts recruiters across numerous platforms. It’s that of the great candidate who continually turns down job offers. You know the type: perfect CV, looking for a new challenge (allegedly) and would fit well into a number of the roles you’re trying to fill. Interviews are granted, as he is the kind of guy the whole Sprocket Noodle World is crying out for. He has it all, the sexy beast; Sprocket Noodle 101, Widget Firtling and even a CSE in Fettling.

So much promise

So you speak to the candidate about your clients, the kind of jobs on offer and find out the exact package he is looking for, then proceed to arrange three interviews. Interview number one? SUCCESS!! The client loves him and offers him the exact package he’s been harping on about wanting. Flushed with false pride, and with commission figures running through your recruiter brain, you call him to tell him the good news. Oh, but wait!]

So much disappointment

Apparently he has changed his mind. He wants a company scooter and matching leathers now, instead of the company smart car. Ah well, back to the drawing board. Let’s call the other two clients you have interviews booked with and let them know his transport preference.

Now by this time alarm bells should be ringing, but in reality, the only thing ringing in the recruiter’s mind is cash tills (all that lovely commission). The second interview is again a resounding success: “I am a recruiting GOD”. Without delay, you call Mr Fussy Pants to let him know that, not only are they offering the wage increase he wanted, but also the Scooter and Leathers. So when can he start?

“Ah! You see, I have a review coming up at work and I think I will be offered a pay rise so I want to wait to see what they offer before committing.”

So much warning

Can we see a pattern yet? I’ve no need to tell you what happens at the third and final interviews as you will have already guessed. Yes, he turns it down because he would ideally like to cover an area about the size of Rawtenstall even though he is only 2 miles from the centre of London. You see, even though he is perfect for your many roles, he will not move. It seems he just likes the attention and people telling him how good he is.

I used to make it my life’s work to place these awkward sods, but no matter how many times they get offered the perfect role (perfect in their words, not mine) they will still find an excuse not to take it, whether it’s from being scared of change or genuinely from enjoying serial time-wasting. 

How many is too many times?

I now have a three and out rule. If they are offered three excellent roles which included all they asked for and they turn them down due to salary, vehicle, alien invasion etc.. then they go in the bin. Even when his CV pops up when you search for candidates to fill your new role: I don’t do it, I don’t give in and call even though I know he will get the interview. Even though he will get offered, and even though he said he was definitely looking this time, I just don’t do it because it will all end in bitter disappointment.

*Rawtenstall is a real place in Lancashire.

*Sprocket Noodles are still made up.

*As is Widget Firtling.

*I’m pretty sure CSE’s in Fettling were available in both Lancashire and Yorkshire in the late 1970’s.

By Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy has been working for SER Limited in Engineering Recruitment for over 11 years specialising in the intelligent buildings sector – especially BMS (Building Management Systems). He is also it seems a part time keyboard warrior on behalf of recruiters everywhere.