Employers: How to Avoid a Renege

Employers: How to Avoid a Renege

The current job market has employers eager to snap up great candidates from top business programs.  This frenetic pace can leave candidates feeling pressured to make decisions with lasting consequences in the first few days of the recruiting season, or before it has even begun— often without time to properly evaluate the offer.

How can you make your company’s hiring process work for you and your candidates?

Understand their perspective.

Master’s-level candidates are making a large investment in their future when they return to school, so it’s understandable that they don’t want to pass up a great opportunity. They also don’t want to miss out on an offer that could be the ultimate launchpad for their career. Giving candidates a few weeks at the beginning of the recruiting process to gather feedback about their position in the market will help them make an informed decision about where they should focus their time and energy.

Build purposeful relationships.

Model the kind of relationship you want to build with candidates. You want to feel confident about the candidates you are moving through the process, so be upfront about the opportunities, the challenges, and your expectations during the process. If you know the timing of your recruiting process, share that with candidates.  Encourage open communication and establish multiple channels for dialogue, including peer-level channels, to enable candidates to explore the company and opportunities as fully as possible.

Leverage the relationships you have with your partner schools.  If you sense a candidate is conflicted about an opportunity, encourage them to work with their school’s career advisors. They can have candid conversations with candidates and partner with them in making thoughtful decisions before an offer is accepted.

Offer flexibility.

Managing a recruiting process across multiple schools with different deadlines and multiple company representatives is complicated, but you don’t want to miss out on exceptional candidates due to a lack of flexibility.  Add flexible options to your strategy by identifying ways candidates can participate in the process even if they can’t attend an important event due to academic or personal commitments.

Avoid exploding offers.

The pressure to lock in your new hires may drive your company to give candidates just a few days to make a very important decision.  In some cases, the details of the position, such as the group or location, may not be clear until later in the recruiting process, giving candidates little time to consider whether the opportunity is the right fit for them and their families.  Please be considerate in allowing them enough time to make this important decision.

See CDO’s Recruiting Policies for information about offer deadlines for companies hiring at MIT Sloan.

Managing a renege.

If you consider the candidates’ perspective, encourage candid conversations, and give them time to make good career decisions, you can help avoid some of the predictable reasons candidates renege on offers.

In the end, a renege is sometimes due to unanticipated issues beyond a student’s control. While it’s an unfortunate situation, if a new hire is no longer able to accept the job, it’s best to know as soon as possible before the start date.

Our goal is to support our students and our recruiting partners through the hiring process. If a student reneges on an accepted offer, please reach out to your CDO account manager Susan Todd (stodd@mit.edu) or Danielle Cañas (dcanas@mit.edu).  We’d appreciate the opportunity to hear from you, assess the specific situation, and help the candidate understand the impact of this decision.

By MIT Sloan CDO
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