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28% of Professionals Renege on Job Offer After Accepting, Survey Finds

Employers take note: The hiring process doesn’t necessarily end when a candidate accepts the offer,…

  • June 3, 2019

Employers take note: The hiring process doesn’t necessarily end when a candidate accepts the offer, new research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows.

In the survey, more than a quarter of workers (28%) said they have backed out of an offer after initially saying yes. The top cities where workers have gone back on their word include San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston.

“Having cold feet is understandable; ghosting an employer is unacceptable,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Even though it may seem easier to avoid an awkward situation, transparency is always the best policy during a job search. If you have a change of heart after accepting a position, be honest with the hiring manager.”

McDonald pointed out that how candidates handle such situations can affect their career prospects. “Explaining you changed your mind about a job offer won’t be good news to hear, but the employer will appreciate your communication and candor. If you handle the situation unprofessionally, however, it can reflect negatively on you personally and follow you in future job searches.”

Robert Half offers three tips for candidates who change their mind after accepting a job offer:

Read the fine print. If you’ve signed a formal contract, make sure there aren’t any stipulations in the document when it comes to reneging on your offer.

Don’t beat around the bush. Be forthcoming and tell the hiring manager, recruiter or human resources professional as soon as possible that you have decided to decline the offer.

Exit gracefully. Apologetic and professional communication by phone or in person is typically the best way to handle the situation. Don’t send a text message or email. Remember to thank those you met during the job selection process so you don’t burn any bridges.