Whenever I speak to clients who are hiring for large graduate schemes and internships, the talk often turns to declines and reneges. There seems to be an increase in candidates who flat out refuse offers, or who accept them but continue to look around – using them as a back-up offer but looking for an upgrade on the down-low.
A grand total of EIGHT summer interns reneged on their offers at large European Bank, leaving it to within a week of the start date to do so. At Freshminds Talent, we’re being approached by candidates who are actively still looking for a role, despite having up to two other offers that they’ve accepted but which they feel aren’t quite right.
Horrified at Geneation N’s sheer lack of morals and respect for employers? That was our first thought too. But taking a step back and actually looking at this from their perspective – are the companies leading by example?
In 2012, an Asian Investment Bank closed its graduate programme as soon as the new cohort came back from orientation, leaving them high and dry. This meant they were all either out of the recruiting cycle for a whole year or ineligible for other programmes as they had already graduated. Rumour has it that a UK bank is running an off-cycle internship particularly focused on those analysts with offers from other banks who are looking to upgrade.
At Freshminds, we counsel our candidates to understand that if they have an offer that they have accepted, they must reject it before we will include them in another process. This is surely the respectful thing to do. Losing eight people that you have accounted for at the last minute is a logistical nightmare and prevents other people getting a much desired opportunity. If we in recruiting are the culture carriers for the next generation of job seekers, we should be aware of the impact our actions are having on the attitude of our candidates.