June 18, 2018

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Turndowns Are Turned On

We are seeing and hearing from our clients that the number of “turndowns” is on the rise. What I mean by turndown is a company making an offer to a candidate and then the offer being rejected (usually because the candidate accepted the counteroffer).

We have spoken to people who openly shop for a new position with full intentions of using it as a tool to get a raise. Candidates don’t really want to leave, but they do want to increase their income. They actually approach their current employer with an opening such as “I really don’t want to leave, but can you match or come close to this offer?”

We recently had a candidate turn down an offer that was tremendous. It offered a significant increase in income and career growth. On the negotiated start date, the candidate had to turn down the offer “for personal reasons.” The candidate stated he would like to stay in touch and revisit new opportunities in six months to a year. This is the first sign that a counteroffer has been offered and accepted. The six months to one year means, “in case this counteroffer doesn’t pan out!”

Top 5 Ways to Prevent a Turndown:

  1. Move quickly through the interview process (no more then 3 weeks)
  2. Make an offer shortly after the final interview (within 2-3 days)
  3. Make an offer that is worth leaving for (don’t “hope” they will take it)
  4. Move quickly through the background checks (don’t allow time to shop the offer)
  5. Get the candidate in a position to resign quickly (this is the tough part for the candidate)

Time is money and a vacant position can cost a company thousands of dollars per day. Move quickly and don’t “hold” on a candidate unless you are willing to lose them.

Remember…Time Kills All Deals!

- Brett Stevens

About the Author:

For over thirteen years, Brett M. Stevens has enjoyed remarkable success in The Executive Search Business. He founded (The SearchLogix Group) in 1997. Brett is a Kennesaw State University ( graduate with a degree in communications. He is a member of the CSCMP ( , APICS ( , WERC ( and IIE ( He has been professionally recognized in many trade magazines and newspaper publications and is a notable guest speaker. Brett’s experience also includes four years of service in the United States Marine Corps ( Brett is a 5 time top finisher in The Marine Corps Marathon ( You can reach Brett at