Australian bosses rescinding job offers because jobseekers are taking too long to decide.

Time’s up.

Research from Robert Half has found that many jobseekers are at risk of losing out on job opportunities after the offer has been made. In a twist on the time factor in getting a candidate in position, a survey of 620 Australian hiring managers found more than half (52 per cent) have rescinded a job offer because a candidate took too long to consider the offer.

In a high-demand, low-supply market, the abundance of available jobs and increased likelihood of receiving a counteroffer from an existing employer means jobseekers are being presented with more opportunities than ever before. According to Robert Half, candidates receiving multiple job offers is the most common reason for taking a long time to consider an offer, cited by almost one-third (29 per cent) of hiring managers, while counteroffers are cited by 22 per cent of hiring managers. Other common reasons for candidates delaying their decision include salary not being perceived as competitive (18 per cent), lack of seriousness about the role (17 per cent) and job content failing to meet expectations (14 per cent).

The survey shows Western Australia – with 60 per cent – has the highest number of hiring managers who have rescinded a job offer because a candidate took too long while Victoria has the lowest at only 42 per cent. In New South Wales and Queensland, 53 per cent and 55 per cent of hiring managers, respectively, have rescinded a job offer because a candidate took too long to consider the role.

With so many employers rescinding job offers because of delays in decision-making, jobseekers need to consider the hiring managers’ expectations when to hear back. According to the survey, over half (53 per cent) of hiring managers expect a response from candidates within one day to one week, while almost a third (30 per cent) think between one to two weeks is acceptable. Only 10 per cent consider two to three weeks a reasonable amount of time and 7 per cent think even three to longer than six weeks is reasonable.

“In a candidate-short market, jobseekers have greater freedom to be more selective about the roles they choose to pursue,’ said Andrew Brushfield, director of Robert Half Australia. “Multiple applications and offers are a sure way for jobseekers to ensure they find the right fit for them, but often lead to drawn-out decision-making times – causing frustration on the part of the hiring manager who may feel they have no other choice but to rescind their original offer and extend an offer to their other potential candidates.

“The most efficient way to secure top talent is through a streamlined recruitment process alongside offering competitive salaries and benefits,” he added, “While lengthy and disorganised recruitment processes can give candidates a poor impression, they can also be incredibly costly to companies both culturally and financially.”

At the same time Brushfield makes clear that companies need to communicate reasonable expectations around response timeframes so they can act quickly and accordingly on a candidate’s decision. “Perhaps most importantly, jobseekers need to be polite and courteous to all potential employers by communicating regularly during their decision-making process to avoid having the offer rescinded,” he concludes.


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