Blog: The Great Indian Renege Challenge

Employee Relations

The Great Indian Renege Challenge

While eradicating reneges completely is not possible, certain measures can help bring down their percentage
The Great Indian Renege Challenge

Reneging on job offers is often a sensitive subject—but nevertheless it is a topic that most companies dread. What does ‘renege’ even mean?

Renege (definition): To go back on a promise, undertaking or contract

Sounds pretty serious, right? It is.

‘Renege’ today is an oft used term in IT industry that refers to a potential employee who accepts an offer letter but does not join employment. Reneges present a peculiar problem to the Indian IT services industry.

Typically, the recruitment machinery in any Indian IT company spends significant amount of resources in identifying and filtering pertinent talent across fresh and lateral hires. After umpteen rounds of rigorous interviews, offers of employment are made. But recruitment teams still cannot heave a sigh of relief as they remain wary of reneges. ‘No show’ is a like a Damocles sword hanging over the recruitment teams. It is imminent and an ever present peril. Due to this persistent problem of reneges, recruitment teams in IT companies repeatedly go through the vicious cycle of identifying potential employees, losing out to competition and going back to the market for hiring candidates.

Why do prospective employees renege?

The reasons for reneging could be varied like better offer in terms of salary and job functions from other potential employers. Also, most often than not, prospective employees are weaned away due to lack of engagement at an individual level.

So what can companies do to increase their candidate joining ratio? Here are some tips:

Tip 1: Profile should be attractive to the candidate: Recruitment teams should ensure that they describe their company’s culture and profile in a manner that is exciting and aspirational to a potential job seeker. A detailed job description would help the candidate get clarity of what he or she is getting into. Better clarity will help the candidate make an informed and sustained decision.

Tip 2: Building a strong relationship with the candidate: Recruiters must build a relationship and make sure the candidate truly understands the role offered and is given an avenue to discuss his or her concerns and queries related to their role and organization. At Virtusa, we have developed the VNext page on our internal social networking platform which continuously engages with new and potential joinees making their on-boarding experiences smooth and seamless. It also helps answer the crucial questions ahead of their joining with regard to offer letter, salary etc.

Tip 3: Show the big picture and how the candidate fits in it: At every stage of recruitment, it is the responsibility of the technical lead or interviewer to tell the candidate how he or she will fit into the project. Prospective employees looking forward to a high growth curve need clarity on their role in an organization. Highlighting the company's mission and aspects of its exciting working environment can help job seekers understand the organization better.

Tip 4: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: It is a surefire way to keep candidates engaged and excited about joining the team. The interview process can sometimes take weeks or months, hence it’s important to keep the candidate engaged and involved as they wait. Recruitment teams must ensure that they provide personalized communication during the lag period between stages of interviews lest the candidates lose interest or think they have lost on the opportunity. At Virtusa, a ‘buddy’ is assigned to senior level candidates to keep them engaged and informed on the progress of their candidature.

Tip 5: Proper verification and identifying patterns:  Clear assessment and asking the right questions at an early stage can help the recruitment team evaluate the candidate’s seriousness and willingness to make a change. With the advent of analytics, recruitment teams in IT companies should look to deep dive and identify renege patterns using varied metrics. A monthly score capturing renege percentage and trends can go a long way in making the right hiring decisions from the right pool.

While eradicating reneges completely is not possible, these steps can help bring down their percentage. They can also help recruiters get on a better footing with the candidate. Remember, a candidate who has a great experience and is properly engaged will be inclined to take up your offer or recommend your company to other potential candidates. 

Disclaimer: This is a contributed post. The statements, opinions and data contained are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of People Matters and the editor(s).

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Topics: Employee Relations, Strategic HR

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