What is candidate reneging and why is it increasing?


2nd August 2022

Read Time

4 Minutes

Empty desk after candidate reneges on job offer due to poor engagement.

Reneging is when a candidate accepts a job offer – either verbally or in writing- which they subsequently decline. This is costly for businesses in terms of time and money as recruitment is a major expense, often involving multiple people across different departments. It can be frustrating for everyone involved in filling a position.

In some cases – and these are increasingly on the rise – an employer is expecting a new recruit to begin work, only for them to fail to attend day one without a word of explanation.

Often, attempts to contact the recruit to find out why they have reneged and to check on their wellbeing  come to nothing and employers are left scratching their heads and back at square one.

This growing phenomenon of new employee no-shows – known as ‘ghosting’ – is now common in the early talent market.

Why are we seeing a rise in reneging?

It’s a highly competitive jobs market and candidates have greater choice about where they work than ever before. At the time of ‘The Great Resignation’ when millions of people are moving jobs or are considering doing so, employers are struggling to fill vacancies.

At a time when it’s very much a candidate’s market and employers are having to adapt and improve their recruitment processes to reduce renege rates.  Candidates are well aware of their options and many are applying for multiple positions at the same time to maximise their chances of landing their ideal job.

During the pandemic, people have also had time to re-evaluate their priorities. Many potential candidates are looking for jobs that provide flexibility and a better work-life balance.  For some people, this is as much of a priority as salary and benefits.

Other reasons for reneging include a more interesting role, the opportunity to work for a more prestigious firm, shorter commuting time and a better experience during the application process with other companies.

Recruits can easily assess the reputation of a company as an employer online and share their application experiences via social media. Businesses that fail to pass muster are very quickly overlooked.

Find out how much money candidate drop-outs could be driving up your cost per hire with our free Renege Calculator.