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How to stop candidates from ghosting you after accepting the job offer

New hires sometimes back out at the last minute. Here’s what you can do to keep the talent you so painstakingly recruited


Even after a candidate accepts a job, John Crossman, CEO of commercial real estate firm Crossman & Company, knows that nothing is certain. On at least five occasions, he’s had employees back out of job offers after they’ve accepted them or simply not show up for work.

“It’s happened where somebody has started with us, has been with us, and then disappeared,” he says. “It’s happened where somebody has accepted a job–they had an email address, they had a scheduled first day–and then disappeared. It’s happened where they’ve accepted the offer, and then our HR reached out to get them onboarded, and then they disappeared.”

A May 2019 survey by staffing firm Robert Half found that 28% of workers say they’ve backed out of a job offer after accepting. And an April 2019 survey by Randstad US found that it’s tough on the other side of the desks; 66% of managers say they’ve had a new hire accept a job offer, only to back out before the start date.

“Today’s market has so many opportunities that I think a lot of people go into it [and] they get enticed by the pursuit. It’s really nice to be wanted,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. But, when it comes time to make the move, various factors may deter them. There are generally three reasons candidate bail, the Robert Half survey found:

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