Three Reasons a Candidate May Not Take the Job

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As organizations look to fill high-level leadership roles – when the size of the talent pool contracts based on required expertise, experience and availability – offering a position to a new hire is often asking them for more than just a commitment to your company.

Relocation, travel, longer commutes and many other factors weigh heavily when the job at hand is a vital part of the organization and a high level of commitment is necessary (and expected).

When looking to make your next new C-Suite hire, it is wise to consider common reasons why even the best offers don’t always work out. Remember, in most cases, the job offer may only have one name on it, but ultimately the decision comes down to the thoughts and feelings of the candidate and their family, friends and circumstances that surround them.

Candidates May Not Have the Ability or Desire to Assume Risk

When weighing risk consider ‘abstract’ things such as:

  • veteran executives have earned their spot/respect
  • their level of comfort with the way things run
  • established trust in employees

Risk can also mean ‘concrete’ things such as:

  • relocation requirements (ability to sell or buy house)
  • different compensation package
  • unfamiliar with company outlook

As a candidate “…ask the human resources department what its moving policies are if you own a home. Your company may pay your living expenses for three months to give you time to sell your home, for example. Some companies even purchase homes for higher-level employees.”

“But inevitably, it’s not all about you. At some point, your shift has to be shared. And telling your friends and family that you’re making a major, potentially risky change to a fundamental aspect of your life can be scary. What will they think? What will they say? Once you’ve said it out loud, there’s no going back. You don’t want to be judged, and you don’t want to be seen to fail.”

“It’s also important to consider your future prospects. The salary on offer might be suitable for now but, without guaranteed annual cost-of-living increases, your income could diminish in real terms over time. If you’ve been offered a commission-based salary, are the bonus structures realistic? It might be worth asking your prospective employer how often people reach their targets, or whether there are any clauses relating to the bonus structure.”

Candidates May Not Have the Desire to Start Over

Not only may a candidate be unsure of their desire to start over in a new company and/or in a new town, the entire family needs to be considered. Is their spouse/partner currently employed and ready/able to move, are there kids in the mix, elderly/ill parents/family members who need care?

Regardless of their years in the business, the learning curve required to start in a new position can be daunting (and/or they may have reached a point in their career where it’s just not worth the trouble).

“It’s important to find a job that allows you to be happy in your daily life, and the duties and responsibilities of your job can be one of the most important factors in maintaining your professional happiness. An ideal job offers a variety of responsibilities that you’re interested in, providing enough work to keep you engaged while still holding you to reasonable expectations. Consider both the challenge your potential duties pose and whether they provide work you find interesting and can enjoy completing each week.”

“When considering the value of a job offer, often one of the most significant factors is your current professional situation. By comparing your current situation with your expectations from the job offer, you can compare and contrast the relative strength of both accepting the job offer or declining. When assessing your current situation, if you have a job presently, you can use the same considerations to decide on the relative value of each opportunity.”

Candidates Must Consider the Emotional and Financial Costs of a New Role

Specifically for relocation, the financial and emotional costs add up. Even the most generous plans leave a lot in the hands of the family – travel, cancellation of future plans, new schools, furniture, etc. Not to mention the emotional toll it takes on the partner while the other adjusts to a new job and the stresses that come along with it. In the end, it may not be feasible (financially) or tolerable (emotionally) to make such dramatic changes for the sake of a job.

Relocating can be expensive, which is one of the biggest disadvantages of relocating a business. You may also have a home to sell, but you’ll still need a place to live in your new city. You’ll spend money driving to the city in advance and looking for a new home. You may decide to live in a hotel until your house sells, which can cost thousands of dollars.”

And for many people, the news that you’re choosing to change your life in such a big way can bring up a whole host of uncomfortable emotions of their own. Your bravery might remind them of their own fears. Your decision may force them to examine their own decisions. And some of those thoughts might not feel so great.”

How You Engage Candidates Matters

At TZR we always take the time to walk candidates through the company’s culture and values. This can be a significant reason why someone may not accept a job – whether it’s because the new company’s polices are not a good fit – or as is often the case, because the new company’s culture is being compared with the candidate’s current environment. Our experience has taught us that a new job is a team decision in many ways.

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