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"What once may have seemed like an enticing offer may now appear average, so employers should not be afraid to rethink their practices. It’s a job seeker’s market, and they have to adapt" - Bill Stoller, Express CEO.

Express Employment Professionals Experts: More Job Offers Turned Down Now Than One Year Ago.

Thanks to a tight labor market and low unemployment rate, employers in America are facing yet another challenge: an increasing number of applicants who are turning down job offers.

Daniel Morgan, an Express Employment Professionals franchise owner in Birmingham, Alabama, reports a significant increase in the number of people saying no to jobs, compared to just one year ago. The reason, he says, is the “abundance of choice.”

“If you really like a candidate, don’t try to see what you can get them for,” he counsels employers. “Go ahead and commit by offering your best from the start. Employees are not just considering one opportunity. They are usually comparing two or three opportunities against each other.”

Janis Petrini, an Express franchise owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan, sees the same trend. The “labor market is so tight,” she says that companies are in an “all-out bidding war.” Her advice to employers who have job offers turned down? “Move quickly!”

For employers trying to fill jobs, timing can indeed be everything. According to Express franchise owner Yvonne Rockwell of Santa Clarita, California, today’s job seekers are often looking for quick start dates. Most applicants “are looking for long-term immediate start opportunities,” Rockwell explains. Offering easier and faster onboarding, she added, is one way to prevent applicants from turning down job offers.

In a survey of businesses from Express, 40 percent of respondents said applicants choose not to accept a job offer because the company was “not the perfect fit.” Twenty-eight (28) percent said low pay was a factor, while 16 percent said both “lack of transportation” and “lack of advancement” were key factors.

What can employers do to avoid being turned down?

Morgan emphasizes employers should focus on their reputation in their local community.

“If you are a great place to work, people will come to you wanting to work there,” he said.

Petrini agrees, saying businesses should focus on the company’s rating in the community.

Reid Bates, an Express franchise owner with offices in Olympia, Aberdeen and Centralia, Washington, says applicants will turn down job offers “if it is not considered a big enough improvement over their current situation.” Confidence is high among job seekers, he says, so they do not feel pressured to accept a job that doesn’t meet their expectations.

“Employers may be frustrated now, but as long as the economy stays on its course, they will continue to see applicants turn down job offers, believing they can easily find ‘something better,’” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “What once may have seemed like an enticing offer may now appear average, so employers should not be afraid to rethink their practices. It’s a job seeker’s market, and they have to adapt.”

The survey of 439 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in May 2018 to gauge respondents' expectations for the third quarter of 2018.


If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bill Stoller to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

About Bill Stoller 
William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide.

About Express Employment Professionals 
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit


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