Job Search

You’ve whittled down a list of resumes, had interviews with a few prospects, and are now ready to extend an offer for employment. But what if it doesn’t turn out the way you planned? You can find that a candidate declines your employment offer in some instances.


We’ve all seen reports and heard anecdotes about organizations having trouble hiring, candidates ghosting them, and declining offers. Recruiters are not used to having the tables turned and being on the receiving end of rejection.


To avoid wild speculation about why this is happening, it’s interesting that the vast majority of businesses don’t collect feedback from the two most important groups of people who can provide insights to resolve this issue: The candidates who decide to join with a direct competitor and new hires within your own company.


The Importance of Feedback

XA Talent advises clients to collect data to analyze important information about all aspects of their recruiting processes. Collecting this information can also save your company time and money by building a database of feedback that can be easily referenced for process improvement and establishing internal best practices that streamline operations. This way, the resources spent on recruiting efforts will be maximized.  


In our experience, we have noticed that most organizations don’t document feedback on why candidates do not accept offers. There is a large missed opportunity for increasing recruitment metrics such as including time-to-hire.  


The One Who Joins the Competitor

An old sales adage suggests the finest source of market knowledge isn’t your customers but rather those who opted to do business with a competitor. Similarly, in talent acquisition, the people who rejected your offer will be one of the best sources of candid feedback regarding your company’s recruiting process.


Such people would have their reasons in place for picking another organization in place of yours. And it is not like they don’t wish to share their feedback, but rather they are not asked about it by the organization interviewing them.


As stated previously, our experience is that very few HR executives make a formal practice out of collecting this information. The feedback is collected informally, often by the recruiter, through email or voice and the responses are shared within the organization the same way it was received.


Can you conceive of a better source of data than the people who refused the job offer if we’re interested in learning why prospects are rejecting our employment offers?


Using the sales analogy, any sales executive will tell you that if you lose 10 deals in a row, you should put on a full-court press and politely inquire why those prospects selected the competition.


Feedback From Fresh Recruits

Now, a legitimate rebuttal to this is that if prospects are ghosting us and not responding to our inquiries, we’re unlikely to collect enough data to figure out why they rejected our offers in the first place. While this is true, new hires are another group that may provide a much-needed assessment of your recruiting process.


Having recently experienced your whole process, new hires are uniquely positioned to appraise your organization’s recruiting efforts.


Feedback Data — The Gold Dust

The process of collecting valuable input does not have to be complicated. However, the more data you collect and the sooner you obtain it makes for a more effective strategy. To that aim, have someone contact a new hire just after they’ve begun their employment and say something like this:

“We’re thrilled to have you here, and I was hoping you’d be willing to assist us. We’re making a concerted effort to improve candidates’ experiences during the recruiting process. Could you tell me something that might have improved your experience?”

At XA Talent, we advise our client to utilize the Net Promotor Score (NPS) survey to the question which will help greatly to measure customer experience (prospective hires) and predicts business growth.


How to Collect Feedback?

Let’s study that small script because there’s a lot of nuance in it. To begin, tell your new hire how pleased you are that they have joined the organization. Because new hires are typically uneasy about what to expect in a new environment, the last thing they want to do is start criticizing the firm they just joined. Make the language in the outreach very positive and genuine in the request for feedback.


Second, let them know how valuable their input will be. They’re unlikely to provide pointed comments if they feel that they’re merely criticizing your recruiting processes or, worse, judging the individual who recruited them.


Third, and most importantly, don’t request a laundry list of suggestions; instead, request “one item that would have improved your experience.” When you ask someone to submit a list of things they’d want to see changed, they may feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin. When that happens, they frequently come up empty-handed.


When you only ask for one thing, the pressure on the reply is substantially reduced, and they are more likely to provide actionable input. 


Finally, don’t have the same person who requests the information be the same person who did the recruiting. If a brand new hire feels like they’re being asked to criticize the person who hired them, things will quickly get unpleasant.


Some recent hires or candidates who choose another position outside of your company may be uncomfortable providing feedback over the phone, so they will send you an email instead. This may make asking for input more difficult because it slows down the process. But don’t give up! If it’s more convenient, give them a call; however, be aware that they may not answer. All are reasons why an email with the NPS question is the best method to try first.


The Bottomline

During the hiring process, being ghosted is not unusual. After all, some job seekers only apply to other positions to gain a raise from their current company. Others might get a better deal somewhere else. In the worst-case situation, they might reject you because they have reservations about your company.


In any case, it’s critical to know how to handle these circumstances to make sure you’re receiving recorded feedback that can be easily referenced to make actionable decisions.


First, you’ll want to maintain a professional demeanor while getting to the heart of the matter. Second, you’ll be able to make positive adjustments to your hiring process; as a result, ensuring that it happens less often or never again.


It’s important to remember that it’s all about providing a pleasant candidate experience in today’s market. Many professionals aren’t embarrassed to express their opinions online, so be kind if a candidate declines your job offer and make the effort to find out why.


Sure, you put in a lot of time and effort meeting with them and putting together a package that you thought was appropriate; but don’t take their rejection personally!

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Aiyaz, VP of Recruitment and Staffing

Aiyaz Uddin

VP, Recruitment and Staffing

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Aiyaz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team by strategically positioning clients to attract, engage, and pipeline the most sought-after talent in information technology utilizing open-source intelligence, talent solutions, and machine learning tools for federal and local government contracting firms, and commercial employers. Aiyaz has a proven track record of success in matching the right talent with the right opportunities, leading to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.


As a leader in the industry, he is constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to improve our services and deliver the best results for our clients and job seekers.

Aiyaz is a certified tech recruitment professional with an MBA in Finance & Marketing along with M.Sc. Psychology. Additionally, his drive to seek new and innovative approaches to talent acquisition led him to speak on LinkedIn Talent Solutions by LinkedIn and HackerEarth’s Tech Recruiting Conference Hire 101.

Under Aiyaz 's leadership, XA Talent has become a trusted partner for companies looking to grow their teams and job seekers looking for their next great opportunity. Aiyaz and our team are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for everyone we work with.


Get in touch with XA Talent today, and let us help you find your next great opportunity.

Peyton Brooks, VP of Workforce Development

Peyton Brooks

VP, Workforce Development

As a firm believer in continuous development and self-improvement, I attained a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Howard University and a Juris Doctor Degree from The George Washington University Law School.


My passion for service to the community drove me towards the workforce development industry, where I have been in active pursuit to change the trajectory of lives and shape communities ever since. With nearly a decade of experience doing so, I have helped thousands of individuals obtain access to more short-term, affordable, and convenient upskill and reskill opportunities across the nation.


Given my vast industry expertise, I provide management consulting services to workforce
development organizations helping them with customized solutions, specialized curricula, strategic partnerships, and employer engagement. My consulting leverages deep technical knowledge as well as strategic and tactical approaches to provide the best solutions with data-driven outcomes. 


My proven experience in building workforce development systems have led me to develop and evangelize best practices for workforce development programs that include the following outcome-based attributes:

– Livable wages and sustainable careers in high-demand industry sectors
– Job placement-focused programs with strong employer partnerships
– Data-driven understanding of regional skills gaps; and
– Comprehensive skills training that includes practical application work experience with career coaching.


My ability to thrive in the workforce development industry is attributed to my strong interpersonal skills, which have enhanced my capabilities to understand what people truly mean to communicate when attempting to express their business challenges. This trait has set me apart from the rest, as I can identify and resolve the root cause of challenges resulting in proper alignment of investment to desired business outcomes.


Therefore, as a leader of cooperative outcome-focused efforts, I would like to connect with
professionals who are interested in collaborating to improve communities and change the trajectory of lives through sustainable career attainment.

Abigail Jpones

Abigail Jones

Chief Marketing Officer

As a CMO passionate about innovative, results-driven marketing strategies, I help companies accelerate tech talent acquisition, enhance executive visibility, and build impactful brands. My entrepreneurial experience, including building startups in London, fuels my work as as a Chief Marketing Officer at XA Talent.

At 𝗫𝗔 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁, my role transcends traditional marketing, designing marketing strategies with talent in mind to strengthen talent pipelines and enhance company reputations. A successful organization begins with its people, and our approach ensures we attract individuals who can best contribute to and thrive within your organizational culture. These strategies are continuously refined in response to technological disruption, ensuring that securing brilliant minds enables your company to grow consistently and achieve its broader goals, furthering your mission to make a meaningful societal impact.

We specialize in tech talent acquisition and executive search while working closely with CEOs and senior leaders to manage their executive branding, which significantly impacts and enhances their employer brand. This collaboration enables them to hire on demand, build influential alliances, and foster advocacy for sustained business growth.

Additionally, I provide 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗠𝗢 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, helping companies develop strategic marketing plans, drive thought leadership to enhance brand visibility. As a speaker, I share insights on entrepreneurship and marketing, aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders. My mission is to merge innovative marketing strategies with recruitment solutions to foster talent development and organizational growth.

When I’m not strategizing, you can find me attending marketing events and exploring new technologies and trends to bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Personally, I have lived in five countries – Malaysia, Australia, Dubai, the UK, and the US.

✈️an avid traveler
📑completed my MBA in London
👩🏽‍🍳love to experiment with new recipes at home
🤸🏽‍♀️absolutely love Pilates to strengthen my mind and body!

If you are interested in learning how to use your voice to build a strong workforce, connect with me and stay updated with my latest insights.

Evan Jones, Founder and CEO

Evan Jones

Founder and CEO

After 20 years of delivering IT management consulting and infrastructure operations & management services to the federal government (XA Systems, LLC and hiring thousands of employees over the years, Evan and his team have developed a system that scales a company's personnel recruitment with culture-driven candidates who contribute to the success of the business.


As a technology-based business focused on continual process improvement, the methods he and his team have developed have been improved over the years and are centered on employer branding and recruitment marketing that results in a pipeline of engaged candidates ready to be hired on demand. He believes every business can succeed and create an impact if they are willing to take uncomfortable action with the right tools and knowledge. He’s determined to stand in the gap and provide the tools and knowledge businesses need.


To date, he has played a role in the growth and development of more than 30 companies. He has worked behind the scenes of SMBs and massive 8 to 10-figure companies helping them overhaul their processes, reinvent their recruitment marketing strategies, and drive growth, both in net profit and an overall employer reach into job seeker communities.


With a passion for business transformation, Evan has developed his own technology, an enterprise SaaS solution, ServeOptics, that delivers service support performance metrics to IT leaders who need actionable insights to make informed business decisions. The more visibility of operations that exists with real-time performance metrics and automated reporting, the more efficient and effective companies can be in their service support operations, which enables a business to gain a significant competitive advantage in their industry.


Evan is interested in connecting with forward-thinking business professionals who want to collaborate on business opportunities or discuss how his recruitment system can enable a business to attract top-tier candidates, employ on-demand, and retain its best employees.