Why Are the Best Project Managers Turning Down Your Job Offers?


Three Reasons for Rejections and How to Rectify Them

Why are the best project managers turning down job offers you make? It’s not as uncommon an occurrence as you might think. Research from PwC suggests that half of job offers are rejected, especially in high-demand areas like technology.

While PwC focuses on a poor hiring experience as being the root cause of offer rejections, our experience is that this is only a contributor to a rejection.

What are the main reasons a great candidate turns you down, even after what you thought was a terrific interview?

Doubts About the Position

You thought you had sold the role. You thought it was a great fit for the candidate, offering challenging and interesting work in a field they are familiar with. What went wrong here?

There could be several factors that help convince the candidate for a project manager role to say no to your job offer. For example, they may begin to doubt that the position is for them because:

  • The location of the job is not good for them. They thought they would be working in your head office, but instead you told them they would be based in a sub office, away from the core of your company.
  • Your reputation as an employer is tarnished by a few online reviews from ex-employees, and the candidate doesn’t like what they read.
  • The contract terms suddenly morphed into something unrecognizable between interviews. If there is something that the best project managers hate, it’s scope creep.

How do you ensure your job offers aren’t suffering because of these factors?

  • Be upfront and honest across the spectrum of your job offer.
  • Make certain from the outset (the job description and job ad) that you state where the job will be located – and don’t change your mind halfway through the hiring process.
  • Keep an eye on employee reviews on jobs boards and social media. When there is a poor review, confront it. Use exit interviews to drill down into why people leave your company, and act upon the feedback you receive.
  • Never change the terms of the engagement between interviews. The job ceases to be the one that this great candidate applied for.

Doubts About Your Organization

We’ve touched on this above, when highlighting the effect that online employee reviews can have. There may also be other issues at play, such as:

  • Your company culture doesn’t quite live up to expectations. You may have showed them around the offices or introduced a couple of members of the team during the interview process. There is something about the workplace that the candidate doesn’t like, and that has put them off signing on the dotted line.
  • Your hiring process has not been professional. This indicates a company that is haphazard in its approach, continually fighting fires, and in which people don’t collaborate well.
  • Your hiring manager’s personality clashed with the candidate’s. You may not even notice this during the interview. Afterall, candidates will be on their best behavior. After the interview, though, the interviewee will ask themselves if they really want to work for and with someone they can’t get on with.

Addressing many of the issues that fall under this column are a little harder to tackle. You need longer-term strategies to shape your organization’s culture, and poor managers must be offered coaching, training, and mentoring to improve their management skills.

One area that you can change quickly is your hiring process. Many organizations don’t have a hiring specialist in their HR departments. If this is the case, it’s best to partner with a specialist staffing agency that can help and guide you in hiring strategies. They will keep in touch with candidates, offer advice on how to proceed best, and help with developing a streamlined hiring process that is fit for the 21st century.

Doubts About the Pay and Benefits Package

Finally, it could be your compensation package that the candidate finds hard to swallow. It may be that the hours and location of work make balancing their work and life impossible. More likely, your money offer is on the low side, and your benefits suck when compared to the competition.

The way around this is to gather market intelligence and understand what it is that today’s most talented jobseekers want for their professional life.

Tips here include:

  • Currently, make sure that your workplace and working practices are COVID safe.
  • Always make a salary offer that the candidate can accept. Research the market and know what a competitive salary looks like.
  • Highlight your willingness to be flexible around the candidate’s life demands.
  • Be sure to offer remote working flexibility that helps the candidate design their job around their life.

The PCP of Irresistible Job Offers

Position. Culture. Pay. The PCP of job offers. By removing doubt in these three areas, the most talented candidates will find the opportunity to work for you irresistible.

Candidates don’t turn job offers down on a whim. They give their decision a lot of thought. For many, it took courage to apply and interview. Pay heed to PCP – the strength of your offer will help the best candidates to step over your winning line.