How an Organization Tells a Candidate to Decline Its Offer of Employment

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

Workplace/Workforce expert for the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession

You might have read the title of this article and thought to yourself, “What are you talking about? Why would an organization tell a candidate to decline its offer of employment?”

That’s a great question. The answer is that a hiring manager at an Animal Health organization or Veterinary practice would not come right out and tell a candidate to decline an offer. But there are still ways that employers do so, ways of which they’re not even aware, and it’s driving away the candidates that these employers most definitely want to hire. It comes down to this:

There are things that employers do, both verbally and non-verbally, that tell candidates to either drop out of the hiring process or decline the offer of employment, should one eventually be made.

So no, hiring managers and practice owners do not intentionally tell candidates to decline their job offers but it still happens, and it happens on a regular basis. I’ve written before about the importance of job seekers and candidates being self-aware in the marketplace. That applies to employers, as well. Those Animal Health companies and Veterinary practices that are not self-aware, especially during the hiring process, cost themselves in the form of lost opportunities.

When an organization is not self-aware during the hiring process, its employees are more likely to make mistakes. And again, as I’ve mentioned before in articles and blog posts, we are in a robust candidate-driven job market with low rates of unemployment, especially within the Veterinary profession. This means that the margin for error for employers is razor-thin. In fact, it’s nearly non-existent. So if members of an organization are not self-aware, then they will make more than enough mistakes to convince a candidate (especially a top candidate) that its employment opportunity is NOT for them.

And once they are convinced of that, they either drop out of the hiring process or they decline the offer. So how do organizations do this? How do they inadvertently and unknowingly sabotage themselves and their efforts to hire successfully?

Below are 10 ways that an organization tells a candidate to decline its offer of employment:

#1—Marathon interview sessions

No one wants to spend an entire day answering questions, especially if the employer conducting the interview does not provide lunch for the person—or even provide them with a break so they can get lunch on their own! (Yes, this has happened before, on multiple occasions.)

#2—Too many rounds of interviews

Nobody wants to keep coming back for interviews especially if they are gainfully employed.  One or possibly two interviews are fine, but when you start asking candidates to return three, four, or five times, you’re basically telling them that you are indecisive as an organization. Top candidates do not want to work for indecisive organizations.

#3—Interviews that feel more like an interrogation than an interview

Candidates crave a conversation. They don’t want to be aggressively “grilled” with a barrage of questions. I know that hiring managers want to do their due diligence and screen candidates properly. This is expected. However, when you take things to the extreme, you can accidentally screen out candidates you really want, especially passive candidates and those candidates who were recruited by your organization or the recruiter your organization hired and were not actively looking for a position.

#4—Different interviewers asking the same questions

This is a dead give-away that the people in your recruiting and hiring process are not prepared. Ideally, they should know the questions that everyone is prepared to ask, so that they do not ask the same questions. As you might imagine, this does not brand the organization in a flattering light.

#5—Asking the candidate why they’re leaving their current employer

This is a big no-no. It’s actually one of the worst questions that an employer can ask during an interview. That’s because the hiring manager is assuming that the candidate has made the decision to leave their employer. In many cases, especially those involving top-tier passive candidates, they have made no such decision.

#6—Looking stressed out and/or annoyed during the interview

The people who are conducting the interview should not look like this. It definitely sends the wrong non-verbal message to candidates. That message is as follows: “If you work for this organization, then you’ll be stressed out and/or annoyed, too.”

#7—Not telling the candidate anything about the position or the organization

There should be a give-and-take interaction during the interview. In other words, both the candidate and those who are conducting the interview should share information with one another. It is not a one-sided affair.

#8—Not asking if the candidate has any questions

Just like a candidate not asking any questions is the “kiss of death” for the candidate, an employer not asking if the candidate has any questions is the “kiss of death” for the employer. If you’re going to make an assumption, make the assumption that the candidate has questions and then ask them if they do.

#9—Not presenting a vision for the future of the organization

You may ask the candidate where they want to be in the future, but are you telling the candidate where the organization is going to be in the future? Top candidates want to know they’re investing in the future of an organization that is going somewhere so that means you have to tell them where your organization wants to go.

#10—Not communicating enough with the candidate during the hiring process

Communication is a two-way street. As an employer, you can’t expect candidates to initiate and carry out all of the communication. Not only should you communicate often with them, but you should also set expectations, especially regarding the next steps in the process. Without that information, they’re more inclined to drop out of the process.

Partnering with an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter can help your organization avoid these mistakes when trying to hire top talent in the marketplace. With a top recruiter’s experience and expertise, you can navigate the perils and pitfalls outlined above and increase the chances that when you extend an offer of employment to your top choice, that person accepts it instead of declining.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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