Graduate Recruitment – Ways to Minimise Reneged Offers

Graduate RecruitmentMore than half of employers seeking graduates in the UK couldn’t fill their vacancies last year, according to a recent survey. This underlines how recruiters are facing an uphill task in finding graduates with the skills and potential to achieve a good fit. Making full use of web based recruitment software is key, not only to attracting graduate candidates of the right calibre, but also to keeping reneged offers to a minimum.

There is now a worrying trend among graduates which sees many initially accept offers, but then renege on them, in some cases at the last minute. Recent figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) found that 7.1% of graduate offers were reneged in 2016, with especially high rates of reneges in the competitive fields of banking and accountancy.

Large numbers of graduates are entering the jobs marketplace each year, many of whom have skills which are in demand in the current climate. However, the question is not only how to compete for the best of this talent, but also how to nurture it after offers are accepted; and throughout the onboarding process.

Scale of the Problem

The trend for reneged offers has developed over recent years and is related to the level of unfilled graduate vacancies. This talent gap often means that graduates with the right qualities and high grades can find themselves in demand even in a generally competitive marketplace. This increases the risk that, even after accepting a post, they may change their mind if what they perceive as a better offer comes along.

When a new recruit backs-out at this stage, it can cause a number of problems for employers. They are left with a gap on their books, causing difficulties with workload and with the arrangements for the new employee’s initial training. Because reneges often happen at short notice, there is increased pressure to find a replacement quickly, but the company might well have lost their second choice to a competitor in the meantime. This means they have to spend more time and money recruiting again, and there is a risk they may not find someone of the same calibre as the candidate they have lost.

As well as being bad news for in-house recruiters, reneged offers can also cause difficulties for recruitment agencies. If your agency sourced the graduate candidate who has let a client down, then, however unfairly, the behaviour could potentially be seen as a reflection of your service and reliability.

Ways to Combat Reneges

The longer and more complex the journey from application to employment, the greater the danger is that a candidate will drop out.  Streamlining the candidate experience is therefore essential. Web based recruitment software has a key role to play here, by enabling candidates to quickly apply online, or via mobile channels, and get all the information they need.  

An efficient application process will help to create a positive impression of the job and employer, making candidates feel more enthusiastic from the outset. Choosing the right candidate in the first place, by using sophisticated cloud recruitment software which flags up the different attributes you are looking for, also helps to ensure a good fit; which again can lessen the risk of a renege.

We have looked in detail at how to understand Generation Z. This is very relevant to today’s young graduates, who have grown up in a digital world and expect to be able to communicate via a number of devices, mobile phones and email, as a matter of course.

Recruiters need to use the whole range of available channels to communicate effectively with this generation. This involves using multiple job boards and social media recruitment, but it is equally important to provide information and reply to queries quickly, without unnecessary delays. 

Communication and Onboarding

As a recruiter, you need to stay in touch with candidates after the offer and before they start, since there can be a risk of dropout at any time during this period. Easy lines of communication are essential. It can help to assign a mentor who will keep in touch with the individual and provide a point of contact if they have queries in the run-up to starting work.

It is also often helpful to invite graduates to events at the company and arrange events where they can meet-up with other new graduates and existing employees. This will make them feel like part of the team before they start, which is likely to increase their commitment.

Once the new recruit starts work, the onboarding process is also vital, ensuring they are smoothly integrated into the existing workforce.  Monitoring candidate experience and getting feedback can help to pinpoint if there are any areas you could improve, both during initial recruitment and onboarding, which will again help to improve candidate retention going forward.

Using Adapt candidate management software can help to identify graduates with the right potential and streamline the selection and onboarding process, which will help to minimise reneged offers. To arrange a demo of Adapt, please get in touch.

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