Why Job Seekers Are Turning Down Offers

Express Experts: More Job Offers Turned Down Now Than One Year Ago; Right Fit, Competitive Pay, Quick Start Time are Key Factors

Thanks to a tight labor market and the low unemployment rate, employers are facing yet another challenge: an increasing number of applicants who are turning down job offers.

Daniel Morgan, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Birmingham, Alabama, reports a significant increase in the number of people saying no to jobs, compared to just one year ago. The reason, he says, is the “abundance of choice.”

“If you really like a candidate, don’t try to see what you can get them for,” he counsels employers. “Go ahead and commit by offering your best from the start. Employees are not just considering one opportunity. They are usually comparing two or three opportunities against each other.”

Bruce Hein, an Express franchise owner in Sarnia, Ontario, sees the same trend.

“Whether temporary, contract or full-time, we see people turning down job offers on a regular basis,” he said. “A tight labor market and an abundance of jobs mean candidates can be more selective about which jobs they accept.”

Their advice to employers is the same – move quickly! For employers trying to fill jobs, timing can indeed be everything.

According to Express franchise owner Yvonne Rockwell of Santa Clarita, California, today’s job seekers are often looking for quick start dates. Most applicants “are looking for long-term immediate start opportunities,” Rockwell explains. Offering easier and faster onboarding, she added, is one way to prevent applicants from turning down job offers.

In a survey of businesses from Express, 40 percent of respondents said applicants choose not to accept a job offer because the company was “not the perfect fit.” Twenty-eight (28) percent said low pay was a factor, while 16 percent said both “lack of transportation” and “lack of advancement” were key factors.

What can employers do to avoid being turned down?

Morgan emphasizes employers should focus on their reputation in their local community.

“If you are a great place to work, people will come to you wanting to work there,” he said.

Reid Bates, an Express franchise owner with offices in Olympia, Aberdeen and Centralia, Washington, says applicants will turn down job offers “if it is not considered a big enough improvement over their current situation.” Confidence is high among job seekers, he says, so they do not feel pressured to accept a job that doesn’t meet their expectations.

“Employers may be frustrated now, but as long as the economy stays on its course, they will continue to see applicants turn down job offers, believing they can easily find ‘something better,'” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “What once may have seemed like an enticing offer may now appear average, so employers should not be afraid to rethink their practices. It’s a job seeker’s market, and they have to adapt.”

The survey of 439 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in May 2018 to gauge respondents’ expectations for the third quarter of 2018.


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