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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Adventures In Recruiting: 7 Absurd Reasons Why People Have Turned Down Jobs



When working with me, candidates can be reasonably sure that I match them with jobs that they want.  And clients generally understand why I send the candidates I do.  But occasionally, even I get turn-downs.  Often it is because a candidate has not been honest with me or with my clients.  

I thought I would write about some of the funny reasons why candidates have turned down jobs.  Not all were my candidates or jobs; some have been shared with me by clients.  They are all amusing, but may not have been at the time they happened.

                                1)  I asked them to open an office in Los Angeles because that is where I want to work
This was said by a fairly junior account supervisor after being offered the job.  It completely blind-sided both them and me since it had never been mentioned.

2                 2)    I was once engaged to the head of account management.
I suppose this is a legitimate reason not to work somewhere.  The thing that made it absurd was that she knew it from the day I told her about the job.  She even went and interviewed with him, but turned down the job once she realized she would be working for him. What was she thinking?  She was an account manager and had to have known she would be working for him from day one.

3                3)    I never really wanted to work on this account
The candidate turned down the job after being offered the same job he had always interviewed on. His comment to the HR director was, “I would love to work here, but not on this account.  What else is open?”

4                 4)    I must have my own office
Said by a very senior account manager at Chiat/Day in Los Angeles in the early days of open space by a very senior executive to Jay Chiat who did not have a private office. (Now, frankly, I completely understand since at the time, few other agencies had open plan space, but the candidate knew it from day one; and Jay Chiat had told him how proud he was of the space.)

5                5)    By The way, I won’t work on Procter.
            This was said when a new executive creative director, who was to run the agency's entire 
            creative department, was told that on his second day he was to fly to Cincinnati to meet the 
            client.  P&G was the agency's largest and most important account. He didn't last long.

6                6)    I don’t have a driver’s license
Said by a candidate who was interviewing at a suburban agency with nearby clients.  The agency was not located near a train or bus.  Each time the candidate interviewed, she walked the mile and a half to and from the station. It came up because, after the job was offered, they told the candidate that there was an important meeting at the client the day she was to start and asked her to rent a car and meet them there (she lived in the City).  It was then that she said she did not drive or have a license.

7               7)    I don’t want any client I have to visit two or three times a week
After giving her offer a weekend of thought this is what the candidate told me.  So glad she did not accept the job.  Imagine an account person who does not want to know her clients.

The amazing thing about all these stories is that the candidates had to know of these issues from the moment they heard about the job.  What could they have been thinking?








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