28 Sep How To Gracefully Decline An Accepted Job Offer When Something Better Comes Along
In the fragile work environment we’re currently in, taking any job you can get is the recommended course of action. However, when you get a better offer, you’d have to decline the previous one before moving on.
Doing so in a way that doesn’t bring up resentment from the company requires tact and skill. It’s impossible to consider holding onto a position when your dream job opportunity arises. Sadly, not all HR managers see it the same way. Some are actively resentful of these situations.
Below, eight experts from Forbes Human Resources Council share some advice on how job seekers can deal with this situation and the effect that each of these approaches has on the business and the job seeker themselves.
1. Take Time To Explain Your Decision
Most HR professionals love it when their mentee, employee or even prospective hire lands their dream job! However, I can understand feeling uncomfortable having to turn down the offer. Simply paint the picture, and describe why the other opportunity is the dream job you have been searching for. The time you took to explain why the other job is a better fit will ease the blow. – Tish McFadden, Maryland Oncology Hematology
2. Do It Over The Phone Or In Person
Don’t send an email. A phone call or voice chat is essential if you want to maintain your reputation. Hiding behind an email will make it impossible for you to work with those people in the future, and you never know when you may want to! – Karla Reffold, BeecherMadden.
3. Keep It Short And Simple
Hiring managers are generally understanding when a candidate chooses another option with better benefits or a higher salary, especially if they’re unable to match it. Be honest and upfront about why you’re choosing the other company, and thank the recruiter for their time and for considering you to be their top candidate. Short and simple is best when bowing out of a previously accepted job offer. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.
4. Be Honest And Polite
It’s important for job seekers to do what’s best for their career, but also to be respectful of employers. If a candidate receives a better job offer after accepting another, he or she should be honest with the original employer, politely decline the offer and give them a chance to hire someone else. Ghosting the employer is not only disrespectful, but could damage future career prospects. – John Feldmann, Insperity
5. Be Transparent On What The New Role Offers
Show empathy! The recruiter, hiring manager and wider team were likely awaiting this new hire and excited about their future contributions! Turn down the job offer by being transparent on what the new role offers that the current one doesn’t, be clear about how it aligns with future development/growth goals, and be genuinely grateful and flattered for the opportunity to have joined the team. – Polina Wilson, Unruly ®
6. Offer A Referral For The Role
When you and a company get to the offer accepted stage in the TA process, a bond has been created. If circumstances lead to declining that offer for a better fit, make a lasting impression by offering a referral for the role. Throughout your career, relationships will make a big difference. Don’t be short-sighted by being complacent about this change in direction. It is important for both of you. – Dedra Ward, Equifax, Inc.
7. Try To Help The Transition
Try to help the transition, if possible. Be honest about your situation and offer to assist with a project or finding resources. They will likely not take you up on this, but it is an effort to contribute and build a relationship rather than burning a bridge. If you know of someone who would be a great candidate, offer them up to the company. Show that you care. – Lotus Buckner, NCH
8. Express Gratitude For The Opportunity
Be respectful and polite; make sure you pass on your gratitude to everyone who interviewed you and to the company for the offer. You don’t need to go into details about your other offer, but just share that it was a difficult decision and how appreciative you are. It’s always best to end it on good terms — you may be considered again down the road if so. – Jessica Sheets, GlobalHealth