Author Topic: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?  (Read 1288 times)

jeromedawg

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Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« on: April 22, 2021, 01:07:03 PM »
Hi all,

I just declined a job offer (just generically saying that I've decided it's not a good time right now to leave my current role) and the hiring manager replied back saying he respects my decision but is curious to know why I declined and if there are concerns.

It's mainly three reasons:
1) recent changes (after applying/interviewing for said position) at my current company that were slightly favorable - I got moved back onto my former manager's team
2) telework situation w/ the new position was a bit iffy and relocation still could have been on the horizon later down the road (I've been WFH for the past 5 year in SoCal. This position would have been with the state up in Sac. we want to stay down in SoCal for the time being)
3) huge reduction in pay


Should I respond back and give him my reasons (though, using more non-descript/unspecific language e.g. "the salary amount offered is not enough to support my family in the current cost of living area") ?

I don't think I'm obligated but the interview process was pleasant and he seems like a good manager and person to keep in touch with even for potentially opportunities whether there or elsewhere. Basically, I don't want to leave him hanging or potentially burn a bridge/opportunity.

nereo

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 01:13:04 PM »
You have no obligation to list your reasons to the hiring manager as they are personal.  However, it's good not to burn any bridges.

I would mention the reasons you gave, and say that while you were extremely tempted to take this new position this combination in factors just didn't make it the right decision for you at this time.  Those are all very valid reasons to decide not to take a job, and the combination of the three are very convincing.

Who knows - it sounds like you were a (the?) top candidate, and the hiring manager might be able to counter with an even better offer.

jeromedawg

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 01:23:09 PM »
You have no obligation to list your reasons to the hiring manager as they are personal.  However, it's good not to burn any bridges.

I would mention the reasons you gave, and say that while you were extremely tempted to take this new position this combination in factors just didn't make it the right decision for you at this time.  Those are all very valid reasons to decide not to take a job, and the combination of the three are very convincing.

Who knows - it sounds like you were a (the?) top candidate, and the hiring manager might be able to counter with an even better offer.

Thanks. I replied back with the reasons - I liked the "combination of factors didn't make it a right decision" line so I stole that.. hope you don't mind! lol

I may have been the top candidate - not sure. I suppose if I weren't, he wouldn't have wasted his time responding back asking for specifics. If he were to counter, he'd have to get approval for a requisition for a higher level role that commands much higher pay. Considering it's the state, I think it would be quite a long shot for that to happen, and even if it did it would require going through the entire application process again. Not sure if a hiring manager at the state level can fast-track hires based on previously declined offers.

GuitarStv

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 01:34:02 PM »
If he politely asked why you didn't want the job, I'd politely answer him back as a courtesy.  You don't owe him anything, but the information could help their future hiring process.

use2betrix

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2021, 08:22:58 PM »
I would certainly follow back up and be incredibly polite but also honest.

It may be good feedback, and may also be something they would consider revising in their offer if they canít find any other suitable candidates.

jeromedawg

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2021, 09:28:54 PM »
Thanks all. I responded back with my reasons. I haven't heard back and don't really expect to at this point but you never know...

Sandi_k

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2021, 10:29:16 AM »
As someone who does a lot of hiring, two things:

1) "It wasn't the right time" doesn't help anyone. If so, why did you apply in the first place?

2) "Your salary is too low for the job and skills required" is really helpful. We've had instances when that meant I went back to HR, got approval to recruit at a higher classification (and pay rate) as a result of the market having moved higher than our recruiters could gauge.

It might also mean that they make sure to list the range in the job ad in the future, to avoid wasting everyone's time.

Malcat

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2021, 10:35:05 AM »
As someone who does a lot of hiring, two things:

1) "It wasn't the right time" doesn't help anyone. If so, why did you apply in the first place?

2) "Your salary is too low for the job and skills required" is really helpful. We've had instances when that meant I went back to HR, got approval to recruit at a higher classification (and pay rate) as a result of the market having moved higher than our recruiters could gauge.

It might also mean that they make sure to list the range in the job ad in the future, to avoid wasting everyone's time.

Not only is the first not helpful, it doesn't give the hiring company any chance to give you an offer that would actually interest you.

I've been offered certain roles before and declined saying exactly what I would need to be interested and sometimes I've immediately been offered that, even when the ask was insane.

If someone wants you, always give them a chance to give you what you want. They don't want polite, they want your bottom line.

jeromedawg

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2021, 02:24:37 PM »
As someone who does a lot of hiring, two things:

1) "It wasn't the right time" doesn't help anyone. If so, why did you apply in the first place?

2) "Your salary is too low for the job and skills required" is really helpful. We've had instances when that meant I went back to HR, got approval to recruit at a higher classification (and pay rate) as a result of the market having moved higher than our recruiters could gauge.

It might also mean that they make sure to list the range in the job ad in the future, to avoid wasting everyone's time.

Not only is the first not helpful, it doesn't give the hiring company any chance to give you an offer that would actually interest you.

I've been offered certain roles before and declined saying exactly what I would need to be interested and sometimes I've immediately been offered that, even when the ask was insane.

If someone wants you, always give them a chance to give you what you want. They don't want polite, they want your bottom line.

For #1, I explained that there was a change in circumstance at my current job which was 'favorable' enough to cause me to stay (I didn't go into specifics to make it seem like I hated my current job, but at the time I applied I sort of was hating it and wanted out... I really wasn't expecting to be contacted or to even go through the interview and thought it was a long shot, but it happened and things at the current job changed to be more favorable between the time I interviewed and the time I actually got the offer. I actually wasn't even expecting to receive an offer since I heard nothing back after for nearly two weeks). But I made sure to say that it was a combination of ALL the reasons I gave that dictated the decision.

For #2, that's a good thing to say - I should have said that in addition to the salary being too low to support my family in the current COL area. Of course, I'm not sure how much this would have really mattered given that it's a state job and their pay scales have quite limited ceilings. At the time I applied, I was actually considering taking the paycut due to just being sick of dealing with the prior manager but only if they offered at the top of range. They came in offering the middle of that range. In addition to the recent developments at my current job and also as my wife and I discussed more and I asked others for advice, we felt it would be settling too much even if I was offered top of the range (it would have been a 22-27% pay reduction in base salary... the middle of range number they offered was an over 42% pay reduction).

Anyway, I've hashed some of this out with @spartana and @robartsd in another thread but I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2021, 02:32:22 PM by jeromedawg »

clarkfan1979

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2021, 02:53:41 PM »
In November 2010, I politely declined a job offer because it wasn't enough money. The location was D.C. They offered 67.5K, but I wanted 90K. I said that I would take 67.5K, if they let me work from Denver because the cost of living is much cheaper. They said remote working was not a possibility, so I declined it.

When I declined the offer, I was upset, but I didn't show it. I was polite. I was upset because they didn't post the salary range in the job ad. If 67.5K was the maximum, I would have never applied for the job. I interviewed with about 10 different people over 2 days. It was a huge waste of time for everyone involved.
 
The hiring manager seemed really confused why I wasn't jumping at the chance to live in D.C. It's an attractive city for people in their late 20's that like to party. He told me that he thought I was 27 and I could rent a 4 bedroom house with 3 other dudes about one hour outside of the city for cheap. However, I was actually 31 and looking to buy a home and start a family with my fiance. In 2010, there was a housing crisis and I could get a really good deal on a house in pretty much any city except D.C. Because of the government jobs, D.C. was not in a housing crisis. At the time, a very cheap garden level one-bedroom was $1900/month to rent. I think the hiring manager misread my stage of life and what was attractive to me at the time. 

In April 2015, a head hunter called me and was encouraging me to re-apply for the position. It was 105K for entry level, but more like 125K for me because I had gained 4 years of experience and had a P.D. I declined it a 2nd time because I was happy with my current job at the time. It took them 4 years, but they finally increased the starting salary to market value.




robartsd

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2021, 02:29:48 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Sandi_k

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2021, 02:44:22 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Not always true. I've gotten exceptions to hire "over max" while I get the position reclassified.

jeromedawg

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2021, 02:52:48 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Not always true. I've gotten exceptions to hire "over max" while I get the position reclassified.

Do you work for the state or federal? Very interested to hear more... what was the process like? I'm in CA and already a majority of positions are in "reduced salary" status (which I think I saw would be lifted in June or July). It seems very unlikely that they would have tried to reclassify if they were already having to constrain salaries to hit budgets.

Per @robartsd, from what I gathered in talking with the hiring manager it sounded like there were quite a few candidates lined up for this (or at least that's the impression he gave) so while I might have been the top candidate who knows if they passed up someone before me and or if they gave the position to someone else (unless it's normal, I thought it was strange that I heard no follow-up until two weeks later where the only thing presented to me was that I have received a "tentative offer" for the position - maybe things are just that slow at the state/govt level?). I figure if they *really* wanted to me, they might have tried to counter despite my reasons but everyone is different so who knows.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 02:58:53 PM by jeromedawg »

Sandi_k

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2021, 02:58:12 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Not always true. I've gotten exceptions to hire "over max" while I get the position reclassified.

Do you work for the state or federal? Very interested to hear more... what was the process like? I'm in CA and already a majority of positions are in "reduced salary" status (which I think I saw would be lifted in June or July). It seems very unlikely that they would have tried to reclassify if they were already having to constrain salaries to hit budgets.

Yes, I work for a state entity, in CA.

The process was an exception with both HR and the Control Unit administrator; I had to prove that the central HR office had under-classified it when they first assessed the job duties, as evidenced that all the finalists with the required experience were masters and up, with 6 figure salary requirements.

That took a week. I was then able to hire the person, "over max."

Then once the person was on board, I submitted the job card for reclassification, to that same central HR office which had under-classified it to start with. Since I had recent market experience, they approved the reclassification, and we were able to give the new incumbent a new payroll title, with room for raises.

I've been doing this a long time, and I have a lot of sway with our central office. Not everyone knows how to play the game as well. ;)

jeromedawg

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 03:01:07 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Not always true. I've gotten exceptions to hire "over max" while I get the position reclassified.

Do you work for the state or federal? Very interested to hear more... what was the process like? I'm in CA and already a majority of positions are in "reduced salary" status (which I think I saw would be lifted in June or July). It seems very unlikely that they would have tried to reclassify if they were already having to constrain salaries to hit budgets.

Yes, I work for a state entity, in CA.

The process was an exception with both HR and the Control Unit administrator; I had to prove that the central HR office had under-classified it when they first assessed the job duties, as evidenced that all the finalists with the required experience were masters and up, with 6 figure salary requirements.

That took a week. I was then able to hire the person, "over max."

Then once the person was on board, I submitted the job card for reclassification, to that same central HR office which had under-classified it to start with. Since I had recent market experience, they approved the reclassification, and we were able to give the new incumbent a new payroll title, with room for raises.

I've been doing this a long time, and I have a lot of sway with our central office. Not everyone knows how to play the game as well. ;)

Ah ok, good to know and very insightful :)

So would you say your experience is pretty much a big exception? I mean, you said "not everyone knows how to play the game as well" so should I take that to mean that a majority of people probably wouldn't think about doing trying to do this?

EDIT: probably too late but would it hurt to send a follow-up email to the hiring manager telling him that I also thought the salary was too low and that I might be open to reconsidering if the position was reclassified? 
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 03:02:58 PM by jeromedawg »

Sandi_k

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2021, 03:12:13 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Not always true. I've gotten exceptions to hire "over max" while I get the position reclassified.

Do you work for the state or federal? Very interested to hear more... what was the process like? I'm in CA and already a majority of positions are in "reduced salary" status (which I think I saw would be lifted in June or July). It seems very unlikely that they would have tried to reclassify if they were already having to constrain salaries to hit budgets.

Yes, I work for a state entity, in CA.

The process was an exception with both HR and the Control Unit administrator; I had to prove that the central HR office had under-classified it when they first assessed the job duties, as evidenced that all the finalists with the required experience were masters and up, with 6 figure salary requirements.

That took a week. I was then able to hire the person, "over max."

Then once the person was on board, I submitted the job card for reclassification, to that same central HR office which had under-classified it to start with. Since I had recent market experience, they approved the reclassification, and we were able to give the new incumbent a new payroll title, with room for raises.

I've been doing this a long time, and I have a lot of sway with our central office. Not everyone knows how to play the game as well. ;)

Ah ok, good to know and very insightful :)

So would you say your experience is pretty much a big exception? I mean, you said "not everyone knows how to play the game as well" so should I take that to mean that a majority of people probably wouldn't think about doing trying to do this?

EDIT: probably too late but would it hurt to send a follow-up email to the hiring manager telling him that I also thought the salary was too low and that I might be open to reconsidering if the position was reclassified?

This is why I said that you should have been honest with the manager that the pay was substantially lower than the experience required, in your opinion. That does two things:

1) They might list the pay ranges next time.

2) They might work with HR to get you over the current range, as I described.

If you do send a followup, I would say something along the lines of: "In thinking about the job, I find myself still intrigued with the idea of working for you and on the projects/types of challenges as outlined in our talks. I do think that your organization might want to consider a salary scale more in line with XXXXX, as candidates such as I are now making XXXXX + 40% in the state...perhaps you haven't hired in this title for a while, and your HR office wasn't taking the existing job market into account? Regardless, please do keep me in mind for future positions, should a XXXX + 2 job become available."

jeromedawg

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2021, 03:26:12 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Not always true. I've gotten exceptions to hire "over max" while I get the position reclassified.

Do you work for the state or federal? Very interested to hear more... what was the process like? I'm in CA and already a majority of positions are in "reduced salary" status (which I think I saw would be lifted in June or July). It seems very unlikely that they would have tried to reclassify if they were already having to constrain salaries to hit budgets.

Yes, I work for a state entity, in CA.

The process was an exception with both HR and the Control Unit administrator; I had to prove that the central HR office had under-classified it when they first assessed the job duties, as evidenced that all the finalists with the required experience were masters and up, with 6 figure salary requirements.

That took a week. I was then able to hire the person, "over max."

Then once the person was on board, I submitted the job card for reclassification, to that same central HR office which had under-classified it to start with. Since I had recent market experience, they approved the reclassification, and we were able to give the new incumbent a new payroll title, with room for raises.

I've been doing this a long time, and I have a lot of sway with our central office. Not everyone knows how to play the game as well. ;)

Ah ok, good to know and very insightful :)

So would you say your experience is pretty much a big exception? I mean, you said "not everyone knows how to play the game as well" so should I take that to mean that a majority of people probably wouldn't think about doing trying to do this?

EDIT: probably too late but would it hurt to send a follow-up email to the hiring manager telling him that I also thought the salary was too low and that I might be open to reconsidering if the position was reclassified?

This is why I said that you should have been honest with the manager that the pay was substantially lower than the experience required, in your opinion. That does two things:

1) They might list the pay ranges next time.

2) They might work with HR to get you over the current range, as I described.

If you do send a followup, I would say something along the lines of: "In thinking about the job, I find myself still intrigued with the idea of working for you and on the projects/types of challenges as outlined in our talks. I do think that your organization might want to consider a salary scale more in line with XXXXX, as candidates such as I are now making XXXXX + 40% in the state...perhaps you haven't hired in this title for a while, and your HR office wasn't taking the existing job market into account? Regardless, please do keep me in mind for future positions, should a XXXX + 2 job become available."

I may reply but I'm not sure I have the best gauge on what the salary ranges are *supposed* to be. In one of our past conversations he even admitted that state pay is lower in general than in the private sector. So while in my current role I might be at 42%~ more, I'm not quite sure what the expectation is when mapped to the state - is it supposed to be 30% less? 20% less? 10% less? The only thing I do know is that this position is to be filled as ITS I. So in this case, would I be pointing out to them that I think this position is more an ITS II range position? I think understanding the expectations of how job duties *actually* and *realistically* map to the different pay grades is what's difficult, because it seems like it's not very consistent and I don't know how to try explaining this when I don't have much context otherwise. The other factor is what I'd be doing if I had taken the position is kind of different from what I'm doing now. So I can't *really* use my current salary as a full reference point. I'm really going based on "years of experience" if anything. The last 'fully equivalent' job I had from almost 10 years ago was still paying me more than what I was offered here though, so I guess if you were to go based on that and factor in COLA, you might be able to get a better guess of what that range should be at least in the private sector. I still wouldn't know how much less I would expect to be paid for the same role at the state though.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 03:30:27 PM by jeromedawg »

robartsd

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Re: Turned down a job offer - should I give more reasons?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2021, 05:28:15 PM »
I don't know how much state or govt will bend over backwards to try to bring in a top candidate for a lower tier position.
They won't. They'll just select the best candidate they can get.

Not always true. I've gotten exceptions to hire "over max" while I get the position reclassified.
That's an interesting idea. Of course that means that they feel they can justify that the job needs reclassification.

Do you work for the state or federal? Very interested to hear more... what was the process like? I'm in CA and already a majority of positions are in "reduced salary" status (which I think I saw would be lifted in June or July). It seems very unlikely that they would have tried to reclassify if they were already having to constrain salaries to hit budgets.
Not so simple. If the job really should be reclassified, the salary reduction thing doesn't really get involved. If the salary reduction is going away this year, then it would be effective 1 July with the beginning of the new fiscal year (paycheck issued beginning of August).

Per @robartsd, from what I gathered in talking with the hiring manager it sounded like there were quite a few candidates lined up for this (or at least that's the impression he gave) so while I might have been the top candidate who knows if they passed up someone before me and or if they gave the position to someone else (unless it's normal, I thought it was strange that I heard no follow-up until two weeks later where the only thing presented to me was that I have received a "tentative offer" for the position - maybe things are just that slow at the state/govt level?). I figure if they *really* wanted to me, they might have tried to counter despite my reasons but everyone is different so who knows.
Unless they felt they could justify reclassifying the job, I don't think they could do anything other than looking into hiring you above the minimum (no higher than the maximum) for the classification. The hiring process often goes slowly, so I wouldn't assume based on the timing that you were not selected as first choice out of the interview.

I may reply but I'm not sure I have the best gauge on what the salary ranges are *supposed* to be. In one of our past conversations he even admitted that state pay is lower in general than in the private sector. So while in my current role I might be at 42%~ more, I'm not quite sure what the expectation is when mapped to the state - is it supposed to be 30% less? 20% less? 10% less? The only thing I do know is that this position is to be filled as ITS I. So in this case, would I be pointing out to them that I think this position is more an ITS II range position? I think understanding the expectations of how job duties *actually* and *realistically* map to the different pay grades is what's difficult, because it seems like it's not very consistent and I don't know how to try explaining this when I don't have much context otherwise. The other factor is what I'd be doing if I had taken the position is kind of different from what I'm doing now. So I can't *really* use my current salary as a full reference point. I'm really going based on "years of experience" if anything. The last 'fully equivalent' job I had from almost 10 years ago was still paying me more than what I was offered here though, so I guess if you were to go based on that and factor in COLA, you might be able to get a better guess of what that range should be at least in the private sector. I still wouldn't know how much less I would expect to be paid for the same role at the state though.
Generally state total compensation is supposed to be comparable to private industry total compensation. In many cases the state offers lower pay but better benefits. If the total compensation is too low, the state would have difficulty filling positions. If only particular positions in the classification are difficult to fill, the positions might need reclassifying. If the classification generally is difficult to fill, the range might need adjusting.