“Sorry, I can’t accept your job offer” – said no hygienist ever… right? Actually, wrong! Rejecting job offers is actually a real dilemma some dental hygienists have had to manage.
This could be the result of getting multiple offers or even when the hygienist just doesn’t have a good feeling about the office. All dental hygienists should carefully evaluate every interview to ensure the situation is a good fit.
But there are some best practices to handle this situation professionally so employers don’t feel spurned (as much as you may want some to feel that way).
You can certainly engage in rejecting job offers over the phone, but I believe a more formal approach (or as a follow-up to a conversation in written form) makes you look really professional. It also gives you the opportunity to articulate your decision a little more clearly and succinctly.
All rejection letters are going to be a little bit different, but I have a Job Rejection Letter Template you can download here for free to get you started.
This is also professionalism 101 – you never want to give the impression they are dead to you or that they missed out on hiring the greatest hygienist ever (even if it’s true). Take the high road, and express disappointment that you couldn’t make it work out. Remember, this COULD have been the only job offer you got and maybe would have worked out nicely for you and them.
Share with them the Positives
Share with them the things you admired or liked most about their practice. Don’t bring up anything negative about their culture or brand unless they ask for honest critique and feedback (very few will). If you feel compelled to give them reasons, give them ones that are more circumstantial in nature.
“XYZ practice was able to offer me more compensation” or
“they are really close to my house.”
Don’t give them reasons that might preclude you from working from them in the future such as:
“You only offered this much and I can’t work for that much” or
“Your office was just too far of a drive for me.”
You might find yourself in a position a year (or less) later that you would take the less-paying or further-away job. Possibly the office you work for goes out of business or relocates – or, heaven forbid, the doctor dies or becomes unable to work. That could change things for you and make it harder for you to approach the office you rejected.
Lots of offices won’t necessarily need your help in finding a different hygienist – the market is saturated. However, it’s good form to offer. If you know some hygienists looking for work or that might be interested in working at that office, offer that up.
If they are in a bind and need someone to start right away and you are able to maybe temp with them for a day or two, offer them that. They will appreciate it and remember you in a positive light.
Never Bad Mouth
Later on, as you describe your experience with that practice keep it positive – or it may come back to haunt you. Maybe they will clean up their act; maybe those who you confide will share your distaste with them; maybe the person hiring you will move to a different practice that you eventually do want to work for and will remember the bad experience your decline was.
The bottom line is you just never know what it will lead to, and where this is your career (your livelihood) we are talking about it’s just not worth it. The only exception I can think of would be to complain to a formal licensing board about illegal or unethical practices. Aside from that, keep it to yourself or at least be vary cautious in what you say and who you say it to.
Rejecting Temping Jobs
A lot of my clients report that when they send out postcards they get lots of temp work and some of it conflicts, so they find themselves rejecting job offers for sub opportunities.
You especially want to let those offices down easy so that they will call you back next time. Here are some quick tips on how to do that so they will:
- Express disappointment or remorse at the missed opportunity for you to help them out
- Invite them to call you again
- Offer to help them locate someone if you know of anyone that might be available
- Drop in on them, after you talk to them on the phone, so they can see can connect with your personality and see you are the real deal
- Send them a thank you card for thinking of you and toss in your business card
- Send out a new batch of postcards every three to six months to remind offices you are still available