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Nearly three-quarters of graduates willing to back out of job offers they’ve accepted

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of graduates are willing to back out of a job offer they've accepted, with three out of 10 (30%) stating they've already done so, according to research by student and graduate careers resource Milkround

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Milkround

  • 70% of graduates are willing to renege on a job offer they’ve accepted
  • 30% said they've already done so
  • Over a third (34%) of graduates have declined a job offer

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of graduates are willing to back out of a job offer they've accepted, with three out of 10 (30%) stating they've already done so, according to research by student and graduate careers resource Milkround. 5,319 current university students and recent graduates were surveyed by Milkround for its annual graduate report, The Candidate Compass. This, alongside the volume of candidates declining, means that employers need to take action.

Regening on job offers

Amongst those graduates that have reneged on a job offer, around six out of 10 (64%) claimed that they did this because they didn’t know how to decline. Around two out of 10 (22%) said they did this because they received a better offer elsewhere, while just one out of 10 (9%) changed their mind.

Confidence crisis?

Separately, over a third (34%) of graduates have declined a job, with a third of this number (33%) having declined two or more. Surprisingly, most graduates who declined a job said that they weren’t confident in their skills (58%), while 19% said it was because the role wasn’t right for them. Nearly one in ten (7%) said it was due to salary, with less than 1% 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%) of internships result in job offers, but 72% of the people who received an offer from their internship declined it, with 4% accepting an offer elsewhere.

Francesca Parkinson at Milkround, said: “Initially looking at these findings, 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.

“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.”