You have a job opening then needs to be filled. You have put together a job description, advertised for the job, sifted through many resumes, interviewed the top candidates, and made an offer. But unexpectedly, your top pick turned you down.
What is your next step?
In this situation, the dilemma you’re faced with is fairly straightforward — should you go through the hiring process all over again or should you simply hire the runner up from the first go round? What you decide to do depends on several factors.
1. The quality of the candidate
One thing to consider is the skill level of your first-choice candidate. How much of a difference is there between your first choice and second choice in terms of skill set, experience and knowledge?
If there is not much difference between the two, the best course of action may be to simply hire the runner up. However, if your first choice was a real standout, head and shoulders above everyone else, you may want to consider reopening the search.
2. The talent pool
Another factor to consider is the candidate pool. If the pool of candidates is a small one, you may have already interviewed most of the people who are qualified for the job, and it would be a waste of time to go through the process again.
Another consideration is how quickly you need to hire someone. If leaving the job vacant for any length of time will put a big strain on your operation and productivity, the best course of action may be to go to the runner up.
But if you can afford to leave the job vacant for a period of time without any repercussions, you may want to consider going through another search.
4. An assessment
Whenever you have a candidate that turns down a job offer, it may be a sign that your hiring process is not working as well as it should. If your process is effective, the person you decide to hire is one that fits the requirements of the job, is interested in working at the company, is a good fit for the company, and is agreeable to the salary range that has been discussed. If all of these conditions are met, there is no reason for the person to refuse the position.
If the candidate rejects the company, it could mean that you have not been thorough enough in vetting the person and have missed something in their personality or background that is a red flag.