Role dropouts are increasing; what this means for you

  Role dropouts – when candidates abandon the hiring process at offer stage or before starting a role they’ve accepted – have always been a key challenge for recruitment. But with COVID-19 adding new dynamics to the employment market, this is something we have begun to see a lot more of in recent months. So,…

Role dropouts are increasing; what this means for you

 

Role dropouts – when candidates abandon the hiring process at offer stage or before starting a role they’ve accepted – have always been a key challenge for recruitment. But with COVID-19 adding new dynamics to the employment market, this is something we have begun to see a lot more of in recent months.

So, what are the major drivers behind the increase in role dropouts and what does this mean for you as an employer or as someone looking for work?

COVID-19 Triggering a Spike in Non-Starters

We can all agree that a lot has changed in a short space of time and today’s employment market looks very different from the one that came before. A number of unexpected trends have risen out of this environment, not the least of which is the surge of dropouts and non-starters during the hiring process – a phenomenon that is in sharp contrast to what you might expect from a high-unemployment market. At Frontline Recruitment Group, we recruit within a wide range of sectors throughout Australia and New Zealand and, for the most part, have seen this trend transpire across our business.

Monthly Role Dropout Rate

As our data demonstrates, the largest spike in dropouts occurred during the onset and peak of COVID-19 in March and April of this year, before dropping off almost entirely in May. This can be easily explained by the uncertainty most people experienced at the time, which caused many candidates to rethink their moves and decide to remain in the relative security of their current employers. This was followed by a dramatic hiring freeze in May, with many employers preferring to take a “wait and see” approach amid the instability.

Interestingly, our data revealed that role dropouts gradually increased and then spiked once again in September. This “second wave” of non-starters is a little more complex than the first one, and it’s likely that several factors are at play here.

One of the most prominent influences is the rise in counteroffers as businesses improved and employers suddenly realised that they didn’t want to lose their people. Alongside this is the fact that many employers are offering reduced salaries to new hires which may be equal to or even lower than candidates’ current/previous ones. This increases the likelihood that candidates will be drawn in by a better offer if they get the chance (particularly if they are overqualified), while also making it easier for their existing employers to match or beat these salaries with counteroffers.

Dealing with Role Dropout Risk: Advice for Jobseekers and Employers

While it’s important for jobseekers to assess their options and ensure they are confident in their motivations for seeking a new opportunity, the good news is that there are plenty of roles available for those wanting (or needing) to make a change. If you are transparent about what you need in terms of salary and engage the right support, you will be well-positioned to find your fit. Keep in mind, however, that it will get more difficult to land roles once JobSeeker and JobKeeper supplements end and more candidates enter the market, so it may be in your best interests to move sooner rather than later.

For employers, it’s important to remember that the majority of role dropouts occur between the interview and the presentation of the job offer, so the easiest way to avoid this is to move quickly between these stages.

Working with a specialist recruitment agency will go a long way towards minimising the risk of role dropouts. Not only can we help you manage the hiring process efficiently and set your salaries at a competitive level (for more on this, click here), but we also make it a point to understand what drives our candidates and prepare them for the possibility of receiving counteroffers. This means you will have the best chance of securing your first choice and getting the talent you need to thrive. Additionally, in this market it’s a good idea to have backup candidates lined up in the event that a role dropout does occur, which is why your recruiter will always endeavour to present you with multiple people who will be a good fit for the role

Whether you are looking for a new role or seeking high-quality candidates for your business, speak to your local recruiter at Frontline Recruitment Group – we would be happy to discuss what’s happening in the market further and help you find the right path forward.