Half of jobseekers turned down offers last year amid growing demands on employers

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Jobseekers are becoming increasingly picky with seeking opportunities and demanding greater benefits and incentives from employers, according to new research from Gartner. 

The consultancy’s latest HR survey found that half of candidates who accepted jobs over the last 12 months have backed out prior to starting, with respondents stating that their prospective employer did not match their expectations.

According to the survey, over one-third (35%) of respondents said they had received “four or more” offers during their most recent job search. 

Similarly, nearly half (46%) said they still remained open to offers after accepting a position, believing they could secure a better role if they extended their search. 

Applicants backed out of job offers for a range of reasons, Gartner found – 59% said they specifically accepted a role due to flexibility benefits while others valued roles that provided better work-life balance and higher compensation. 

Firms that failed to meet these requirements often found themselves losing out on talent, despite them having accepted a role. 

Jamie Kohn, senior director in the Gartner HR practice said this highlights the changing demands being placed on firms by prospective employees and warned that some could miss out on vital talent if they fail to provide such incentives.

“Nearly 90% of candidates said they have exited a hiring process due to at least one mismatch in employee value proposition (EVP) preferences,” he said. 

“This includes compensation and benefits, but also things like flexibility in working hours, career pathing, skills development, team diversity, and management style.”


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This changing dynamic with regard to employee requirements is exacerbating the increasingly competitive talent landscape that organizations must now contend with, Kohn said. 

A separate survey conducted by Gartner in December 2022 showed that 86% of CIOs reported heightened competition for talent and qualified candidates – a trend that is expected to continue. 

“Competition for talent remains steep – our research shows 59% of HR leaders expect more talent competition in the next three months,” he said. “We are seeing many candidates uncommitted to their new employer and keeping one foot in the job market.”

What employees want

Transparency in hiring processes was highlighted as a key stumbling block for candidates, with 68% of respondents stating they want to see concrete salary information in job postings. 

Nearly two-thirds (64%) revealed they are more likely to apply for a job that lists compensation in the job description while 44% said they refused to apply for a role because the employer failed to meet this requirement. 

Remote, hybrid, and flexible work options were also a key factor in a candidate's decision to apply for – and accept – a role at a company.  

Gartner said that 75% of candidates who can work remotely prefer to do so more than 50% of the time, and this is becoming a key stipulation in applications. 

A Gartner survey in May this year found that nearly half of employees seeking new job opportunities were actively doing so because of a desire for greater flexibility. 

“When it comes to pay transparency and return to office mandates, organizations can either enhance or impede their talent attraction efforts based on the decisions they make,” said Kohn.

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

For news pitches, you can contact Ross at ross.kelly@futurenet.com, or on Twitter and LinkedIn.