Whether it is due to uncertainty or the job role not being the right fit, graduates are not afraid to walk away from job offers they have already accepted

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Graduates are no longer willing to settle for a job that isn’t the right fit for them. According to research from Milkround nearly three-quarters (70%) of graduates are willing to walk away from a job offer they have already accepted, with a further three out of ten (30%) stating they have already done so.


The reasons why graduates decide to renege on a job offer vary. Around six out of ten (64%) admitted they did this as they had no idea how to decline the initial job offer. A further 22% stated it was because they received a better offer elsewhere, while just one out of ten (9%) simply had a change of heart.


Interestingly over a third (34%) of graduates have actually declined a job offer, with 33% of the respondents declining two or more job offers. The reasons why graduates decline job offers are surprising, with 58% admitting they did not feel their skills were up to par with the job role while only 19% declined because the job role wasn’t right for them.


One in ten (7%) of graduates declined job offers due to an unsatisfactory salary and only 1% turned down a job offer as the company did not supply any company benefits.


Francesca Parkinson at Milkround, comments: “Initially looking at these findings, it’s perhaps surprising that so many graduates are happy to renege on a job offer, considering the challenges of finding a first job at such an early stage of their career.”


“It shows that the mindset of graduates has changed. We believe the top graduates are confident enough to accept multiple offers, knowing that they can take their pick of jobs. We should also consider that some students are simply acting like rational consumers – buying into what’s being marketed by employers when they get an initial offer, but not necessarily putting too much thought into what they’re actually purchasing.”


“For employers that want to halt the reneging of offers, communication with candidates will be key, making sure they really understand the role, the benefit, learning and development opportunities, and the company culture. Keeping recruits engaged with the company all the way from the acceptance stage to their first day is now a must.”