5 Common Reasons Candidates Renege on Job Offers

In today’s recruiting climate, “The Great Resignation” is a phrase that every recruiter has heard a million times. Coined at the peak of the pandemic, the phrase refers to the high levels of workers that left their jobs with no plans of coming back. With “The Great Resignation” and the competition for labor came a new phenomenon. It’s called “The Great Reneging” and employers are rushing to prevent it. 

Here are 5 common reasons candidates renege on job offers.

Reason #1: Better Offer

A better offer can mean a million things, but when it comes to reneging, it typically translates to “better pay.” Gen Z is an ambitious generation. They’re not willing to settle for salaries that won’t allow them to live comfortably. 

This generation is not about living paycheck to paycheck. In fact, recent reports show that out of all the generations, Gen Zers seek the highest salaries to feel financially secure. The average American 18-25 looks for an annual salary that surpasses $100K. 

Reason #2: Another Position Better Aligns with Their Long-Term Goals

For Gen Z to maintain their vibrant approach and passion for their roles, they need to make sure they’re accepting positions that fit their long-term career goals. Gen Z places a lot of value on professional advancement. Recent reports show that 54% of Gen Z cite “opportunity for career growth” as a top career priority. 

While they might initially accept an offer for a position that is not related to their field of study in college, they’ll ultimately leave to pursue a career that piques their interest more. This is especially true for interns, who are testing things out and trying to find the best way to reach their professional goals. 

Reason #3: Lack of Work/Life Balance

Most Gen Zers agree that even if they find their ideal job, they’ll renege on the offer if they feel they won’t be able to have a life outside the office. Remember, Gen Z is a generation that’s trying to change the norms and create a new normal in the workforce. Having gotten a front-row seat to previous generations’ burnout culture and time poverty, Gen Z wants to emphasize the importance of creating a balance between life and work. If they don’t feel they’re walking into a flexible work environment, you can almost guarantee they’ll renege. 

Reason #4: Deadline to Accept Offer Is Too Quick

Nobody likes to rush through a decision, especially when it comes to their career. If you send out an offer and give the candidate a limited time to accept, candidates may accept without being fully ready to commit. In fact, chances are they’re probably still interviewing at other companies they’re more interested in. Candidates want to make sure they can weigh all their options. Rushing them through the process for the sake of your own recruiting deadlines can negatively impact the way candidates view your company and the onboarding process. 

Reason #5: Too Long of a Gap Between Hiring Date and Start Date

While candidates want at least two weeks to think over their offers, when the start date is too far away, it allows candidates to shop for other options if they’re not entirely satisfied with the job offer they got. This is often an issue for internships. Recruiting season for internships is typically about eight months before the position starts. This gives candidates a gap in time in which they can easily choose another opportunity that comes along. While time frames for internships are pre-established before the recruitment process begins, companies can combat “The Great Reneging” by maintaining communication with their interns and staying in touch until the positions begin. 

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How to Reduce Renege Rates

Fortunately The Great Reneging” doesn’t have the power of ruining your entire recruiting season. There are strategies and tactics you can utilize to combat renege rates and improve employee retention. 

  • DO Advocate for Fair Compensation Packets
    For companies investing in early talent, maintaining industry benchmarks and auditing compensation packets to make sure they’re competitive is key to the success of their recruiting season. Even if your organization doesn’t have the budget for premium salaries, try to emphasize other benefits candidates should take into consideration, like healthcare options and paid time off.
  • DO Regulate Timeframes for Acceptance Deadlines
    It’s important to give your candidates time to decide. If your candidates rush and go through with a decision they’re unsure of, it’ll leave you with a vacancy at an inopportune time. It’s better to give them up to two weeks to weigh their options and make sure they’re choosing the right position for the right reasons.
  • DO Communicate and Update Regularly
    The highest percentage of reneges falls in the category of interns. It goes back to the long gap of time between offer acceptance and the start of the position. Because there are so many months in between, it’s important to communicate regularly in an effort to maintain excitement about the position. Share company newsletters, involve them in the conversation, and keep them up to date with events. Every little bit counts. 


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