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Shocking number of Aussies who backflip after accepting a new job

A woman in a waiting room looking nervous for a job interview.
Aussies are backflipping after accepting a new job offer more than ever. (Source: Getty)

It used to be that when you accepted a job offer, that was the job you would then take but, with such a tight labour market at the moment, Aussies are backflipping like never before.

New research from Robert Half found 66 per cent of Aussie workers had or would be open to declining a job offer after initially accepting it.

Of those workers, more than half (54 per cent) said receiving a better offer was the reason to decline a role.

Australia is currently struggling with a skills shortage that has seen employers struggling to fill positions.

The research found that 61 per cent of employers had experienced an increase in the number of candidates accepting and then declining a role before their start date, compared to pre-pandemic times.

On top of this, six in 10 employers reported an increase in the number of new recruits leaving within one month of starting a role, and 54 per cent reported new starters leaving within six months.

The research highlighted the importance of providing an engaging worker experience from the moment the contract was signed, as well as a well-developed onboarding strategy.

What’s making people leave a role they just started?

More than half of Australian workers said they were not opposed to leaving during their probation period, with 21 per cent of them having already done so and a further 30 per cent saying they would consider it under appropriate circumstances.

Of those workers, more than half (53 per cent) cited a poor company culture as the top reason to leave, followed by receiving a better offer (43 per cent) and the job not being in alignment with what was advertised (40 per cent).

With company culture and quality relationships known to be a significant driver of employee retention, new hires are at a higher risk of leaving early without the opportunity to form relationships and develop bonds with their colleagues.

Some of the most popular bonding tactics currently being used to improve onboarding in a changed working environment include sending a company-wide email (55 per cent), starting a welcome thread on an employee forum (51 per cent), and organising an in-person team event (50 per cent).

“Employers that don’t offer an exceptional onboarding process from the job offer to probation period are at great risk of losing new employees to other opportunities before they even settle in the new role,” Robert Half director Nicole Gorton said.

“Securing top talent doesn’t stop when they sign the contract. Once a candidate has accepted a role, it is essential to develop a strong rapport with them by maintaining communication.”

Gorton said that, while not new, many companies today still allowed there to be a communication gap between the moment the contract was signed and the new employee’s first day.

“Regular email updates, post-interview check-ins and offering more details about the role, company, and induction plan could all help to build an emotional connection and reduce the risk of candidates backing out of a job offer in favour of a competing opportunity,” she said.

“When the candidate joins the company, providing a clear roadmap of responsibilities, conducting regular check-ins, offering mentoring, and organising team-building activities are all examples of successful onboarding tactics in the current environment.”

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