In recent years student reneges have been on the increase. The latest data shows us the rate currently stands at 12% in the graduate market and 14% for school leavers. There are many reasons why a student may choose to renege, such as external influences linked to the cost of living crisis, the changing landscape of work as we emerge from the pandemic, and increased pressure on organisations to find top talent fuelling a candidate driven market.
The latest ISE survey highlights that renege rates are highest amongst graduates in the charity and public sector at 15%. For school leavers the highest renege rates are within the Energy, Engineering and Industry sector at 42%. This far surpasses the next highest renege rate of 17% within the Finance and Professional Services sector. This may be due to the high volume of opportunities available within this sector.
Why is this happening?
GTI’s student market research consultancy, Cibyl, conducts the largest graduate and school leaver survey in the UK and has found that young people place most importance on salary and benefits alongside work-life balance policies. These are key factors when deciding on selecting one job offer over another. Their research has also concluded that salary expectations have increased year on year for both cohorts to their highest level in 5 years. This is likely to be linked to cost of living worries. Further information into salaries and factors influencing student decisions can be found in the full slide deck.
From our own experiences working with clients operating in a number of different sectors, reasons for reneges have been extremely varied. Candidates might be looking to take an opportunity which offers a higher remuneration, better company culture and/or better aligns with their long-term career goals. Or they may have reasons beyond the world of work, for example to remain in education and gain an extra qualification or take a gap year and travel following the restrictions imposed by Covid.
Tips for reducing reneges
Now that we understand a little bit more on some of the reasons students may choose to renege, how can we address this and reduce the risk of your candidates reneging?
Review how competitive your offer is
Review your organisations compensation and benefits package, is it competitive and how/when is it communicated to candidates? Are you able to offer transparency on what career progression might look like for a new graduate? Are you fully transparent regarding your recruitment timelines?
Communication is key
It’s important to ensure that your candidates trust you. Caring for candidates through the process is critical, not only through the recruitment process but also post offer and during on-boarding.
Communication is critical and it’s important to keep messaging flowing throughout the recruitment process right up until a candidate’s first day. The period of time between contracts being signed and a first day should be active and not passive.
Whilst reneges can be unpredictable, a good honest communication strategy and a transparent offering to candidates can go a long way to minimising the risk of dropouts through the process.
For our full presentation on reducing reneges, please listen back to our webinar.