How NOT to turn down a job offer when you work in Allied Health

So, you’ve been offered a job but have decided to decline it, and need to find the best way to turn it down.

Whether you’ve secured the role on your own or via a recruitment agency, there’s always a right and wrong way to reject an offer.

So, what IS the best way to say, “Thanks but no thanks”, to a job offer in the Allied Health industry?

Well, here’s what NOT to do! Some real-life rejection techniques that we’ve seen at Medijobs Australia:

Nightmare Story 1: The No-Show

We once received this text from a candidate on the day that they were supposed to start their new, full-time job as an Occupational Therapist:

“Hi. I’ve decided to go travelling and so won’t be starting my new role today.”

What?! We called the client to deliver this news, only to discover that the candidate had already been in touch with them to tell them the same thing. Again … what?!

It turns out, not only had this candidate accepted a job they didn’t intend to take, but they had left it until the morning that they were meant to be starting their new job to inform their employer, without giving any consideration to all the training and induction that had been set-up for their first day.

Plus they deprived someone else the opportunity of a job, because if they’d let the employer know earlier, they could have hired the runner up recruit.

This is so unprofessional and inconsiderate.

What to do instead: If you’re going to decline a job for any reason, including travel, please let the agency and employer know ASAP so they can consider another candidate. If, for some reason, you do leave it until the morning of your start date, we strongly suggest you phone and speak to the agency. The thing to remember is that your recruitment agency has managed this whole process for you from the start, so please give them the courtesy of including them until the end.

Nightmare Story 2: The Recruiter Neglector

After accepting a job offer from our client, a candidate was given a counter-offer by their current employer.

This happens. But we always encourage candidates to remember that an increased salary package doesn’t change the reasons you might be job-seeking in the first place. Not to mention that if it takes you resigning for your employer to recognise your value, they’re probably not the company for you. We find that most candidates who accept counter offers are job-seeking again in 6-12 months’ time.

In the case of this candidate, they let the hiring employer know their decision directly, but failed to inform us, their placement agency. So, when the client called us to say that the candidate had pulled out, we looked pretty clueless (and were unimpressed, tbh).

The thing is, Medijobs had played a crucial role in getting this candidate an amazing job opportunity. We would have preferred it if the candidate let us know their decision to accept a counter offer so that we could have managed this with our client ourselves.

What to do instead: If you decide to accept a counter-offer from your current employer, please let the agency representing you know. Same goes if you’ve secured the role directly with the employer – call their hiring manager and let them know of your decision. Most employers understand that counter-offers are enticing, and are fine with candidates turning down roles. It’s the way you communicate your decision that matters. It’s important that you maintain good relationships with employers, as you might just be knocking on their door again soon.

Nightmare Story 3: The Ghost

We worked with a candidate to secure them an offer in a great new role. They told us they were excited, but that they’d discuss the offer with their partner before accepting.

And that’s the last we heard from them.

To this day, we’ve never heard back from this candidate.

It did cross our minds that something serious might have happened like an accident, however our fears were allayed when a few months later, we saw their LinkedIn Profile had been updated, announcing they had a new job, with another employer!

What to do instead: The alternative to ghosting is simple: just say, “Thanks but no thanks,” either to the agency if you’ve been represented by one, or to the employer if you’re dealing with them directly. People will be worried if you just disappear, and when they realise that you’re actually fine, that you just didn’t want to be upfront about your decision to decline the offer, they’ll be put off by your rudeness and you’ll have burnt that bridge forever.

It’s important to be polite and considerate when you’re job hunting. Treating people well, with respect and courtesy will ensure they treat you the same way.

If you’re really not sure how to decline a job offer, consult with a professional, specialist agency like Medijobs Australia. We’re experts at having difficult conversations, and we can help to keep the doors open to any potential employer you want to turn down, in case you’d like to work with them in the future.

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