Why Do Candidates Reject Job Offers? (and what hospitality companies can do about it)

It is one of the most perplexing and frustrating experiences for hiring managers. You spend weeks courting and interviewing a candidate. They have the qualifications you’re looking for and seem excited about the opportunity. You present them with a job offer and…they decline it.

Why are candidates rejecting job offers more and more in hospitality? Here are the top reasons we’ve seen:

  • The process took too long
  • The offer wasn’t strong enough
  • They had a bad interview experience
  • The role was unclear
  • Their family has hesitations about relocating
  • They have multiple offers to consider

Thankfully, there are steps that hospitality companies can take to prevent candidates from walking away from offers.

The Process Took Too Long

If an application process takes longer than a month, the chances of a candidate rejecting a job offer go up exponentially. This happens with all sizes of hospitality companies. Small organizations may find it difficult to schedule interviews quickly since the hiring manager is often also running the daily operations. Larger organizations tend to have redundant steps and red tape everywhere. Consider using a virtual scheduling assistant or combining interviews where possible to keep things moving.

The Offer Wasn’t Strong Enough

Budgets are tight, so it is tempting for business owners to start negotiations with a low offer. However, back-and-forth negotiating leaves the door open for candidates to accept counteroffers from other employers. Start the compensation conversation early in the interview process and bring it up often to get a clear understanding of what they need in an offer. It also helps to understand what the current averages are so you can build a strong initial offer (the annual Hospitality Compensation and Benefits Guide is an excellent resource)

They Had a Bad Interview Experience

Company culture is a top priority for job seekers. If the candidate has a poor experience through the interview process, that does not reflect well on the company. Things like inappropriate questions from interviewers, poor communication in between interviews, or disorganization can all send a candidate running. To prevent this, be sure to educate your hiring managers on conducting quality interviews and give them effective communication tools.

Unclear Role Description

Employers who do not provide clear role parameters at the beginning of the interview process leave too much opportunity for candidates to make their own assumptions. Be very clear about how many employees they will be managing, how many properties, to who they report, and a clear scope of their responsibilities throughout the process.

The Family has Hesitations about Relocating

If a candidate needs to relocate, the decision to accept a job offer suddenly becomes a family affair. By not involving the candidate’s family in the process, spouses will likely put their foot down. If possible, offer to fly the family, or at least their partner, to the location to let them get a feel for their new life and show that you are an employer who cares about their people.

They Have Multiple Offers to Consider

The fact is that most talented candidates will have multiple offers to consider. If your offer isn’t the best and biggest, you will likely lose your top candidate to another job opportunity.

Enlist Help from Hospitality Recruitment Experts

Recruiting in the hospitality industry does not have to be stressful for business owners, even in the current topsy-turvy hiring market. With help from seasoned recruiters, like the ones at Horizon Hospitality, who can vet qualified candidates and communicate efficiently, hiring can be simple! Contact us today to learn more about our process.


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