For those of you embarking on a UK job search, the current talent shortage means you will likely have your pick of Automotive Engineering jobs. As a result, you may find yourself in a situation where you simultaneously receive multiple job offers and need to decline one or more.
While it is never nice to be the bearer of bad news, there are ways to deliver your message professionally and politely, particularly as you never know when you might encounter the Hiring Manager, HR team or Recruiter again.
What follows is some key advice about how to decline a job offer and ensure you keep your reputation in the industry intact.
Be Sure About Your Decision, But Don’t Feel Guilty
Take a moment to bask in the joy of receiving a job offer. It is a wonderful achievement, particularly as it is a clear indication your unique combination of skills, experience and personality are highly regarded.
After the initial excitement wanes and you review the offer in detail, you may start to doubt the suitability of the position. Your reasons may include:
You’re not sure the company culture or values align with yours
You’re concerned about the company’s pathway for promotion and professional development, and whether this role will fulfil your development goals
The offered salary doesn’t meet your expectations, even after negotiating
Your candidate experience hasn’t lived up to the expectation you have of a future employer and it’s planted a seed of doubt this is a reflection of how the business actually runs
You’ve simply received a more competitive offer elsewhere
In such scenarios, take some time to reflect on and critically evaluate why you feel this way. If you have partnered with a specialist Automotive Engineering recruitment agency, they can be of real benefit here by helping you evaluate your options by applying their knowledge of the market.
You could take the step of connecting with the Hiring Manager to see if any of the issues can be rectified through further discussion (this may not be applicable for all situations). If not, it’s time to formulate an appropriate response.
Upon Deciding, Act Quickly
After having made your decision to decline, a speedy response is important. It is a professional courtesy to let the company know as soon as possible that you do not wish to proceed. They will appreciate it as this allows them to keep up their hiring momentum, for example moving forward with their next choice of candidate, or step in their recruitment campaign.
From our experience in the Automotive Engineering recruitment industry, we recommend accepting or rejecting a job offer within 24-48 hours. This can vary so it is good practice to ask the Hiring Manager when they would like a response when you receive the initial offer.
Choose Your Delivery Method
You can choose to decline the offer by phone or email. The most polite and professional way is to make an attempt to speak to the Hiring Manager, HR team or Recruiter directly. If this isn’t possible, you can follow up with an email mentioning you tried to connect by phone but are following up with an email to avoid delaying their hiring process.
Aim to Be Brief, Gracious and Appreciative
In preparing your response, try to strike a balance between brevity and giving the employer some indication of why you have declined. They are likely to be disappointed, having invested time and effort in the recruitment process, so feedback is important information for them to use in the future.
Thank them for the opportunity to go through the interview process and learn more about their company. You can then provide a brief reason for declining, taking care to avoid any criticism of the Hiring Manager or company. If you have decided to remain at your current company or accept an offer from another employer, you can add that as well.
End by wishing them well in their candidate search, and offer to stay connected via LinkedIn. This shows you are keen to remain on good terms.
Further Assistance When Declining a Job Offer
As an Automotive Engineering recruitment specialist, we’ve helped many candidates decide between multiple offers and assisted them in crafting the relevant responses.
If you’d like some extra support or looking to talk to someone about your next career move, please connect with one of our experts.