Don’t assume that a candidate wants a job just because they have applied for it.
When offers are declined, the reasons are often similar to these:
- “I just wanted to explore my options.”
- “I want to work here a few more years before retiring.”
- “Personal issues have come up.”
- “I’ll lose my bonus if I leave now.”
- “I wanted some leverage for a salary increase.”
- “The family doesn’t want to move.”
Many times, you’ll never know the exact reason behind a turn-down.
Professionals often apply for jobs out of curiosity, so take the time to qualify candidates over the phone before inviting them in for interviews. Get them talking about themselves. Explore their career goals. Identify the professional or career problem they’re trying to solve. You’ll sometimes find that the “ideal” job they want is the one they currently have.
By the time you get to an in-person interview, the goal should be to confirm that there is a strong fit for both parties.
If you assume that someone wants the job because they applied, you’ll be sorely surprised far too often.