New Survey: Why Don’t Job Applicants Accept Offers?

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Express Employment Professionals Survey Also Reveals Why Employees Leave Jobs

Express Employment Professionals released new survey results today revealing the reasons applicants do not accept jobs and the reasons employees leave their jobs.

In a survey of 1,951 businesses, respondents were asked, “What hurdles stop applicants from accepting a job at your company?” They were also asked, “What hurdles cause employees to leave a job?”

Thirty percent (30%) said “low pay” stops applicants from accepting a job, making it the most popular response. Thirteen percent (13%) said “lack of advancement/opportunity,” and another 13% said “lack of transportation.”

“Lack of advancement/opportunity” was the most popular response for why employees leave a job, at 34%, followed by “low pay” (30%) and “not a good cultural fit” (27%).

Even though respondents were asked to select all reasons that applied, a majority of respondents chose “none,” indicating the diversity of reasons at play.

Full results are below.

“It’s clear that pay and advancement remain top motivators for job seekers,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Still, there is a wide range of factors to which employers must be sensitive. As the labor market tightens, businesses have to be even more aware of what may prevent them from making a good hire. They also should take care to be aware of what may drive away good employees currently on the payroll. Proactively responding to these hurdles is key to maintaining a talented, stable team.”

What hurdles stop applicants from accepting a job at your company? (Please check all that apply.)    
Q1 2017    Q4 2016    Q3 2016    Q2 2016
Low pay    30%    27%    33%    28%
Other    29%    32%    28%    23%
Lack of advancement/opportunity    13%    20%    17%    27%
Lack of transportation    13%    13%    15%    12%
Inflexible schedule    12%    11%    17%    14%
Lack of company benefits    12%    10%    -    -
Long Hours    11%    12%    10%    18%
Perfect fit    10%    11%    9%    15%
Would lose government benefits    8%    6%    -    -
No child care available    6%    5%    9%    3%
Would lose disability benefits    3%    0%    2%    1%

What hurdles cause employees to leave a job? (Please check all that apply.)    
Q1 2017    Q4 2016    Q3 2016    Q2 2016
Lack of advancement/opportunity    34%    35%    28%    40%
Low pay    30%    27%    27%    29%
Not a good cultural fit    27%    26%    33%    28%
Other    25%    27%    22%    22%
Unlikeable boss/management    17%    16%    22%    18%
Difficult schedule    17%    16%    17%    16%
Long hours    14%    16%    14%    18%
Lack of transportation    9%    10%    14%    10%
Unlikeable co-workers    8%    7%    11%    8%
No child care available    4%    3%    8%    5%

The survey of 1,951 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, covers job insights for the first quarter of 2017. Previous surveys were conducted to cover job insights of the quarters indicated.


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

About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit

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Sheena Karami
Express Employment Professionals
+1 (405) 717-5966
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