So you’ve just completed your recruitment process, found a strong cohort, hit your diversity targets, and the team is starting to wind down for a well-earned summer break.

But not so fast… due to family reasons, a change in circumstances, or an unexpected relocation to Lapland, some of those candidates who you’ve worked tirelessly to get placed over the past six months start reneging on their previously accepted offers. You know the emails, “It’s not you, it’s me” – where it’s definitely you.

Frustrating right? Well, you’re not alone. The ISE (formally AGR) found that out of 79 leading UK companies, over half did not fill all of their graduate vacancies in 2016, something that was largely a result of candidates reneging on previously accepted offers.

The fact of the matter is that we are currently living in a candidate-driven market and it’s not unusual today for top talent to go around collecting offers, keeping them in the back pocket and continuing the job hunt in pursuit of something ‘more appealing’.

And before we blame it all on changing candidate behaviour, it’s also worth recognising that all companies tend to work to different time frames, making it somewhat challenging for candidates, who ultimately have to put themselves first and make multiple applications.

Whatever the reasons may be, it’s worth spending some time thinking about strategies to keep these emails to a minimum so that you’ve got a full training room on day one of the job. We’ve highlighted five essential actions to help with this…

1. Make Candidates Feel Good about their Decision

Once a candidate accepts your offer, immediately make them feel like part of the team. Send them a welcome pack with some company swag and a personalised card signed by the team. This doesn’t require much effort but will leave them feeling highly valued and connected not just to the company but also to their future colleagues.

2. Keep Selling Yourself

This is especially true in the early-careers space where some candidates can find themselves waiting almost 12 months from signing a contract until starting a role. Send the candidate company newsletters and emails which highlight important updates and successes, subtly reminding them of the reasons they wanted to work with you in the first place.

3. Start A WhatsApp Group

If you are making multiple hires, get candidates talking to each other. The more personal connections they have built up, the more likely they will be to start the role. WhatsApp groups are great for this as individuals will be getting notifications right to their phone which will maximise engagement. You can also use these groups to post regular content in line with the previous point.

4. Ensure Candidates Are In Regular Contact With The Team

Assign a future team member to each candidate so that they can build a more personal relationship through regular calls and if possible, arrange a couple of days where the candidate can come to the office and get more face time with their future colleagues. Not only will this make the candidate more comfortable when starting in the role, but it will also create a sense of belonging.

5. Hope For The Best But Plan For The Worst

Sometimes you can only do so much and given that reneging tends to happen later on in the year, it’s likely that you won’t have enough time (or resource) to start the recruitment process from square one. You should therefore have a plan in place should any of your cohort decide that you’re not what they’re looking for.

This is where our talent sharing community can help. Think of all of those great candidates that you had to reject at the final stages of your process simply because you didn’t have the capacity to hire them all. Whilst you can’t keep such talent waiting in reserve for five months before you reject, you can share them with the Final Stage platform which will, in turn, enable you to dip into a pool of pre-vetted talent as and when you need to – i.e. when you have a candidate renege on an offer.

So there you have it, a few pointers that will help ensure that you have a full training room on day one of the job, whether this be a result of reducing the likelihood of a candidate reneging an offer in the first place, or having a plan in place to act quickly when you do get one of those pesky emails!


If you want to talk with a member of the team about the benefits that Final Stage can bring to your recruitment process, drop us a note to

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