HR Discussion: How Do You Control ‘Offer Declines’ As a Recruiter?


I’ve been working as a recruiter for many years with a recruitment firm. Recently I went for an interview where I had applied for a Sr. recruiter positon. There, the interviewer asked me: how do you control your offer declines as a recruiter? Though I’ve been into this field for many years, I fumbled while answering, I was almost clueless about the answer. What do you think, what could be the right answer to this question?

Offer declines can become very discouraging and frustrating for any recruiter, whether the recruiter is highly skilled or just stepped into the field. Candidates with offers have their own mind, and they are free to decide whatever is best for them. They are the customers, and they are never wrong.

All we can do as a recruiter to decrease the number of declines is control. We, whatever we do, cannot bring the offer declines numbers to zero. But, we can bring it to 2 or 3 out of ten.

We have to be careful at the sourcing and screening stage. This is the stage where we can do our best as a skilled recruiter to bring down to offer declines. We, as an experienced recruiter, must use our intuition, most importantly our experience and skills.

Before calling a candidate or sending a mail to the candidate, ask yourself: will this guy join my company and the brand? How much this guy will expect from my company based on his current CTC? Will office distance cause any issue? Why is he changing his job after all? How does he respond to my email & calls, actively or just ignores my emails or calls? Is his involvement in the process satisfactory? You can add more such questions based on the situation to understand the candidate’s position.

Based on these data available, just like AI or Machine Learning technologies, you can logically predict if this candidate is going to accept the offer or decline it.

Remember, you cannot bring the offer declines to zero, but you can surely decrease the numbers significantly.

No, Jawa Motorcycles Cannot Kill Royal Enfield

‘Time will tell’, they said. Now the time has told: no, Jawa motorcycles cannot kill Royal Enfield motorcycles.

The sales statistics, as well as the motorcycle enthusiasts, have now substantiated the fact that Royal Enfield cannot be destroyed in the Indian market so easily.

In this topic, I’m not going to touch the boring sales statistics, records, specifications, etc, of the motorcycles. Internet is full of such robotic information. I am going to talk about what motorcycle enthusiasts say and what the Indian ‘mango’ people feel.

Not Happy with Royal Enfield!

I, myself, was angry with Royal Enfield and the way it has bewitched the Indian motorcyclists. I’ve written many articles on how Royal Enfield has ‘befooled’ we Indians so emotionally. I wanted Royal Enfield to be punished for its discrimination with Indian customers. I wished for the sales decline of the Royal Enfield bikes, I am being frank here.

Jawa Motorcycle As Hope!

When Mahendras confirmed the news that Jawa is being resurrected by them, I said: Royal Enfield, you are dead!

Almost everything was perfect with Jawa Motorcycles, the visual appeal, the specifications, the new modern technologies, the history & legacy emotions, etc. Everything was almost perfect, but not perfect.

When Jawa motorcycles added ABS and basics like the fuel gauge, disk brake, wide rear tires, etc., which Royal Enfield shamelessly kept away from us Indians, we all were excited. But at one particular stage, I said no, Jawa Motorcycles perhaps may not destroy Royal Enfield.

The Money Matters!

Jawa Motorcycles may not even make a dent in Royal Enfield’s empire. I’m talking about the price. The price does matter. You can fool our sensitive Indian customers with your brand name and royalty only to a point. We Indians appreciate Apple’s iPhones, but buy Xiomi’s Redmi.

Jawa Motorcycles need to understand that Royal Enfield can also bring ABS, tubeless & wide tires, none-leaky engines, and none vibrating bodies, by increasing the price, which is being done now. But hiked prices, however logical, keep customers away.

Sales & Marketing Gyana!

And, if the customers are away, you cannot expand your market. If the market is not widespread, you cannot propagate your trust, durability, and value. Without trust durability and value, you cannot emerge as a ‘Brand’.

Budget-friendly products get emotionally attached to the customers. If you keep your products too pricy, customers will psychologically try to justify and appreciate the alternatives available to them.

The Future of Jawa Motorcycles!

The future of Jawa motorcycles is not very positive. I guess it will go Mahendra Mojo way. It is not going to sell many motorcycles. The current automotive industry is performing poorly in India. Auto Sales has declined up to 30 percent due to various government policies, this is what the industry experts say.

This year, 2019, almost all Vehicle-making industries have shown declining sales figure. If this trend in the industry remains, then tough days are ahead for Jawa motorcycles. We also know what happened to UM Motorcycle, which has come to the Indian market as a challenger for Royal Enfield.

A little Man’s Advice to Royal Enfield

It is an opportunity for Royal Enfield to correct its wrongs done to its Indian customer. Or, the least Royal Enfield can do is bring tubeless tires and widen the skinny rear tire in Bullet 350s.

Don’t let another Nokia happen to you. Change yourself with time, and most importantly listen to your customers who appreciate, you despite your discriminatory attitude towards Indian buyers.

Also Read: Bajaj Avenger & Its Future

Jawa Motorcycles VS Royal Enfield: Who Wins?

Performed Well in Interview, Still Got Rejected: Why?

Never get surprised if you get rejected after attending a satisfying interview. Interviews are unpredictable.

Recruiters and hiring managers usually make the mistake of hiring the wrong guy.

As a recruiter, I can say hiring a new guy is like purchasing a ‘product’.

And this ‘product’ is not furniture; it has got a mind of its own. So, unpredictable things happen on both sides.

Never get dejected after being rejected in interviews.

“Rejection may put you in trouble for some time, but it also opens windows for new opportunities.”

And these opportunities are generally better opportunities, I have experienced.

However, if you still want to know why you got rejected then there a few points you should know:

1.       You Didn’t Do Well in Interview:

Sounds like a normal reason behind interview rejection, but it’s not easy to convince yourself.

There are many candidates who compete for a single open position.

You performed well in the interview, but there was someone who did better, and there came another guy who was marked the best by the recruiters.

So, it’s simple, the best guy gets selected. All you can do is work hard and try to do better in the next interview.

2.       Your Salary Expectation didn’t Meet the Budget:

Most companies don’t disclose their budget caption for any open position.

Also, the budget for any particular position changes from time to time and can depend upon various factors.

Though, most originations screen one’s candidature based on his/her current and expected CTC, however, while negotiating the salary in final rounds of interview, things get spoiled.

3.       Internal Reference:

The internal reference is considered the best recruitment mode by some originations.

References don’t just bring pre-screened candidates on skills ground, but they also bring the trust of referrer with them.

Referral candidates take lesser time to learn and always have a ‘personal’ guider with them.

4.       Position Went on Hold:

Unexpected things happen in recruitment. Nothing should surprise in recruitment.

You may finish all the rounds with excellence and win interviewers confidence, but suddenly the top officials decide not to hire for the open position any more for various reasons you may never know.

Maybe, the guy who had decided to resign gets reinstated. Or, just maybe, the position itself is scrapped. You never know.

5.       You Touched The Controversial Topics:

Once, when I was new to the job market, an interviewer of MNC asked me about my political affiliation, also, if I liked a certain leader.

I was a novice in such matters; I put my opinion as it was. Of course, I got rejected.

Moreover, the interviewer should never have touched such questions.

In interviews, be smart enough to avoid touching controversial and sensitive matters such as politics, religion, regionalism, caste, creed, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

6.       You Dressed Recklessly:

There was a weekend drive at a software company. I was the recruiter taking care of coordination jobs and other things.

To my surprise, I noticed the candidates who seemed very promising during telephonic discussions had come in Shorts, and t-shirts, and slippers.

I was like: no dude, this is not cool. You are breaking the sanctity of corporate culture.

7.       Job Profile Mismatch:

This is one of the most significant reasons of interview rejection. It starts with the miscommunication between the recruiter and the candidate.

Sometimes recruiter fails to screen the resumes as per the JD and bring the wrong guy with different role & responsibilities.

In such cases, even interviewers try to fake it while taking the interview. They just can’t tell them right away that yours is a profile mismatch, and ask them to leave.

8.       You Failed in Background Check/ Verification:

Before rolling out the offer, companies do a little background checks.

They may call your employer or someone working there to gather some important information about you.

They also may check your social media accounts and try to figure out your personality and attitude.

If your background verifications don’t impress them, chances are slim that you would hear from them ever again.

READ: Six Ways To Rebound From Interview Rejection

Interview Went Well… But Still Waiting. Should I Ask for the Feedback?


I had attended an interview two days back. I finished all the technical rounds; the interview went well.

I even had a discussion with the HR manager and CEO. After completing everything, the HR personnel told me that the feedback shall be shared on the next day, so I could leave for the day.

Now two days have passed, and I’m still waiting to hear from them. What could possibly have happened? Have I been rejected?

I don’t understand, why I should not be called after the interview that went so well. Should I call them and check for the status? Maybe, they would have forgotten me.


No, they would have forgotten you just like that!

Not being shortlisted after performing well in an interview is quite normal. It is very logical as well.

The thing is hundreds of people compete for one open position, so obviously, 99 have to get rejected in the interview process.

It is also correct that all those 99 who got rejected could have been better choices. And, maybe, the one who gets the job is the worst of selection.

We HR Personnel usually come across such cases. But this is how recruitment works.

We have to reject people: many people, indeed. And you thinking that you were the most suitable guy in the room is understandable.

The company may have made a bad mistake by not selecting you. There are lots of good and bad reasons to reject candidates.

Sometimes, even the interviewers are not qualified to take someone’s interview. You could be rejected on your dressing sense or hairstyle.

Interviewers reject someone just because they were not getting good vibes from the candidates.

You may get rejected just because the interviewer sensed that you were better than him. Or, you were more handsome than him.

You never know about the deep-rooted prejudices of human beings.

Well, the question is what could one do in case one didn’t get selected or how long one should wait for the feedback?

Well, the answer is one should never wait for any feedback and move on with other opportunities around.

If you really want to know what really happened in the interview that you were not called back, then maybe, you should write them a mail.

Calling the recruiter for the feedback is not a good idea. They would always have some handy answer to tell you like we’d update you soon. And you can’t blame them for that.

Wring an email is the best thing you can do to follow up. Your mail should not be too long or verbose.

Just add a few sentences reminding them about your interview, and asking for feedback.

Good recruiters will always reply with the exact feedback, though they may play with words because ‘reject’ word sounds so harsh.

Also, not all recruiters will reply to you. Most may just ignore your mail, and some may just ask you to wait further.

Remember, interviews are more about rejection than selection.

So just don’t get disheartened if you couldn’t make it to a position hundreds were competing for.  

All you should do is prepare for the next interview and the next interview.

ALSO READ: Reasons Behind Your Rejection A Recruiter Won’t Tell You

How Long Should I Wait For Feedback After An Interview? – Forbes


Message from a friend of mine: Hey bro, I’m quite worried now. I have secured a good job offer, and I have to join it in 30 days, but my current organization wouldn’t leave me before 45 days.

I also referred my current company’s offer letter which, to my surprise, it says my official notice period is 60 days.

The company which has offered me is a wonderful prestigious organization. It, indeed, has been my dream organization.

But, I am afraid, I have to let this offer go because of my long notice period.

It was my bad, I should have told them about my official notice period.

But in excitement, I committed a shorter time period. I talked to my manager, he wouldn’t budge.

Is there any hope?

   Yes, there is still hope. Notice periods are designed to deter employees from hopping one job to another.

Also, it gives enough time for the company to get the pending jobs done by the employee.

Most companies, especially the reputed ones, have one month notice period.

But most IT Service companies are strict about the notice period, and try their best to stop employees for three months.

Only in some rare cases IT Service companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, etc, let their employees leave before their official notice period of three months.

If you are a none-performing employee or on-bench, you have chances that you can come out early.

Some senior most employees, or some employees with ‘serious issues’ can also expect to come out early.

But ‘normal guy’ serves three months of notice period like a good boy.

But my friend who messaged me has a different case.

All he can do it to request his manager to shorten his notice period and relieve early.

If the manager is not supportive, he can ask the company HR, which has made the new offer, to extend the date of joining (DOJ).

The good thing is, in most cases, companies which make offers tend to compromise on Date of Joining. 

Since recruitment is a painstaking filtering process, HR guys let the candidate join even after a week or two.  

Some HR guys can also go up to one month in extending Date of Joining.

All you need to do is to write a beautiful formal email to HR personnel (offering company) you’ve been interacting with.

You should also substantiate your email by adding important attachments to authenticate your request.

Let them knew that you’ve resigned, and serving notice period, and written to you manager to relieve early.  

Once the HR guys are convinced, they generally extend your date of joining as per your request.

Also, if you have been recruited through a consultancy firm, you can ask the consultancy guy to do the job for you.

They can mediate, as well as keep you posted on new updates in the process.

Sometimes, HR guys may not modify and send a new offer letter, but can confirm a new DOJ by sending an email. That should be enough in case of small companies.

READ: Can I extend my employee’s notice period if I need them to complete a project before they leave?

I am in a company forcing me to stay beyond the notice period. The notice period is over and yet I have not been relieved. What can I do?