1. They were playing the field and accepted another offer

2. They accepted a counter-offer from their current employer

3. You didn’t sell them on the role or your company

4. They didn't click with their potential boss

5. The interview process was sub-par

6. The compensation package was not good enough

As a recruiter it is so easy to blame the other people in a recruitment process if things go wrong.  The candidate wasn’t open enough, the client didn’t listen about the money, the candidate didn’t tell you about the internal option, the client always under offers. 

There is always someone else to blame but when I honestly think about how I have managed the process when this has happened to me, deep down, 99% of the time it is a lack of qualification, candidate management, client management or generally not listening to what is actually being said which has led to a ‘turn down’.

My job as a recruiter is to consistently ask the right questions of all parties.  Not only the right questions but also the difficult ones – the questions that might elicit an answer I don’t want to hear, but at least I’ll be able to either successfully deal with the issue or know that I should pull a candidate out of a process – before getting to an offer.

It’s a brave thing to do and the fear of loss is a great one but I’ve learned that a bit of pain at the front end of a process (by asking the right questions and then counting people out) is far better than getting to an offer and having the pain of the right candidate saying no because of bad qualification and head burying.

I’ve tried to stop playing the blame game, because when it comes down to it – it’s nearly always my fault!