Graduates say they're 'happy to renege on job offers'

Nearly three quarters of graduates have reneged on a job offer, according to a survey

NEARLY three-quarters (70 per cent) of graduates admit they'd back out of a job offer they've accepted - and 30 per cent claim they've already done so.

That's according to a study of more than 5,300 current university students and recent graduates in a report called The Candidate Compass compiled by student and graduate careers resource Milkround.

Among those who have reneged on a job offer, around six in ten (64 per cent) claimed they did so because they didn't know how to decline. Some 22 per cent received a better offer elsewhere while one in ten simply changed their mind.

Separately, over a third (34 per cent) of graduates have declined a job, with a third of this number having declined two or more.

Surprisingly, most graduates who declined a job said that they weren't confident in their skills (58 per cent), while 19 per cent said it was because the role wasn't right for them. Seven per cent said it was due to salary, with less than 1 per cent turning down a job because of unsatisfactory company benefits.

This potentially indicates a lack of confidence in graduates who turn down offers because they don't think they have the right skills – despite getting a concrete job offer from an employer who thinks they've got what it takes.

Milkround's research showed that more than half (53 per cent) of internships result in job offers, but 72 per cent of the people who received an offer from their internship declined it, with 4 per cent accepting an offer elsewhere.

Francesca Parkinson at Milkround, said: “It's perhaps surprising that so many graduates are happy to renege on a job offer, considering the challenges of finding a first job at such an early stage of their career.

“It shows that the mindset of graduates has changed. We believe the top graduates are confident enough to accept multiple offers, knowing that they can take their pick of jobs.

"We should also consider that some students are simply acting like rational consumers – buying into what's being marketed by employers when they get an initial offer, but not necessarily putting too much thought into what they're actually purchasing."

She added: “For employers that want to halt the reneging of offers, communication with candidates will be key, making sure they really understand the role, the benefit, learning and development opportunities, and the company culture. Keeping recruits engaged with the company all the way from the acceptance stage to their first day is now a must.”

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