1. Evaluate the situation
Before formulating a categorical refusal, it is important to think about the motivations which lead you to this decision. Is it the level of remuneration? Some of the tasks that would be entrusted to you? Work place ?
Make sure the reasons behind your rejection are non-negotiable points for the recruiter. Very often, companies are ready to move on certain points of the proposed employment contract.
Rather than refusing directly, why not offer to meet your future employees so that you can make your decision with as much information as possible?
Given that a face-to-face meeting is likely not an option at this time, set up a virtual meeting or call your manager on the phone. Email is a last resort but can be used when circumstances warrant.
2. Choose the right time
The timing of the refusal of an offer meets several requirements: you must think both your job search strategy, but also bear in mind the time that the recruiter has already spent to you. Until you have other serious leads yet, it’s safer not to rush an offer down. That being said, you cannot drag out your answer too long, because the recruiter must be able to move forward too.
3. Choose the right channel
You have the choice between direct contact (telephone or face-to-face) and email. Making a phone call is ideal, especially if you’ve gone far in the recruiting process. This has the advantage of promoting the creation of a real exchange with the recruiter and making it easier for them to understand the reasons for your refusal.
4. Be sincere
Whether by email or verbally, it is essential to be as honest as possible in your refusal. Clearly explain the reasons for your choice, this is always helpful for the recruiter.
However, keep it short. No need to dwell on the amazing conditions offered to you elsewhere, or be hurtful for the reasons given.
Note: If you had been recommended by someone within the company, give them the same explanation as the recruiter. It is important to stay consistent and that everyone has the same version.
5. Remember elementary courtesy
When you decline an offer, the absolute minimum is to be polite. The recruiter should leave you with a good impression, even if the collaboration will not happen.
Start by thanking him for his time with you. Find a formula to value the exchange you had, and empathize with the inconvenience your refusal might cause.
6. Be as professional as possible
You should never speak badly about the company. Also, avoid publicizing your refusal. Indeed, spreading this kind of information can quickly come to the ears of the recruiter. No need to burn yourself out at the company in question.
7. Keep contact
End your refusal by leaving a door open. You never know what the professional future will be like, it cannot be ruled out that your path and that of the recruiter will intersect, as an employee, client, or service provider, etc. Offering to keep in touch contributes to an elegant refusal, while cultivating your professional network.