Research shows that the time between offer and day one is still part of the purchase, so let’s treat it like that

In partnership with Bright Network, we recently launched Bright Network’s 2019 research – Insights from Tomorrow’s Workforce – looking at the views and aspirations of our future talent.

One thing that stood out to me was the reminder that when dealing with Gen Z, we’re dealing with sophisticated consumers.

Underestimating the importance of treating candidates as consumers can be a painful lesson to learn. Not least when it comes to renege rates.

It may come as an unpleasant surprise that only 11% of the survey group said they wouldn’t renege on an offer they had accepted. The reasons for reneging varied – from more prestigious brand to more exciting role but essentially, this means 89% of our group would reject a job offer they’d accepted in favour of another.

When we sat down and reflected on the findings as a team initial reactions were, “Wow, these guys are becoming more flaky – where’s their commitment?”. But then it struck us that it was perhaps time to hold the mirror up to our own processes, and realise that the onus was on us as employers to recognise our candidates are a new generation of consumer and respond accordingly.

Gen Z make up the majority of our future talent target audience. They’re true digital natives: from earliest youth, they’ve been exposed to the internet, handheld devices and social networks.

That context has produced a hyper-cognitive generation who are comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing different sources of information and with integrating virtual and offline experiences.

All of this means that they make decisions and relate to institutions – including employers – in a highly analytical and pragmatic way.

This more pragmatic and realistic generation of consumers expect to access and evaluate a broad range of information before making a purchase.

And so, we should view the recruitment journey as a mutual purchase – a deal struck between employer and future employee.

Between offer and day one, 89% of our audience showed that they’re still in purchasing mode. They’re still accessing information, they’re still evaluating.

By the time we’ve made our offer, the cost of sale to an employer is estimated to be on average, £3.5k according to the ISE. This was based on the cost of getting a graduate from application to offer. If you hire 500 grads and have a renege rate of 20% that’s a cost of £350k per cycle.

Now you might say that some of the stated reasons for reneging on an offer are beyond our control – at least in the short term – prestige of the firm or bigger salary – but less than 5% of our group felt salary was more important than work-life balance and 40% considered the company’s culture the most important factor when choosing an employer.

There are plenty of factors that can help you keep your candidates engaged. Our candidates constantly evaluate unprecedented amounts of information and influences and so, a continuous drip-feed of relevant, helpful and personalised information is a smart way to ensure ongoing engagement.

Our clients use our live chat technology to do just this – by running a programme of chat sessions on topics from Diversity and Inclusion to what to expect on day one, this access and engagement is priceless.

One professional services firm we work with as part of their keep warm initiative, saw their renege rate drop from 21% to 6%, that’s an estimated saving of £500k in one cycle.

Reminding candidates why they fell for you in the first place and introducing a few pleasant surprises along the way are all ways to keep the romance alive until day one.

To find out more about our platform and to hear how our clients are using it to keep candidates warm, get in touch with me,, I’d love to chat.



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