Authenticity and Its Impact on Offer Acceptances and Reneges

October 6, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

Student Attitudes
A recruiter holds up two cards, one reading, "no" and one reading, "yes."

TAGS: nace insights, student attitudes, surveys, talent acquisition,

Authenticity plays a key role in whether students accept a job offer—and stick with it, according to research conducted by Scott Research Group (SRG).

Mary Scott, founder of SRG, compared data from 2016 to that from 2022 to gauge students’ assessment that an employer “made it seem as though they were interested in me.” Scott uses this metric extensively in campus research projects because students say their candidate experience helps them differentiate among employers.

What Scott found from this comparison was staggering: The percentage of students agreeing with the employer interest statement fell from more than 90% in 2016 to barely 50% in 2022.

Moreover, in the 2016 study, less than 20% of students agreed with the statement, “I accepted an offer, but have continued considering other opportunities.” Fast forward to the 2022 study: The group of students who agreed with this statement swelled to nearly 50%.

Worse, in the 2022 study, 80% of respondents indicated that if they don’t feel connected to the employer, they have no qualms about declining—or even reneging on—an offer, underscoring the consequences employers may face for failing to foster authentic connections with candidates.

Scott’s findings are detailed in “Why Authenticity Is Essential to an Impressive and Effective Candidate Experience” in the Spring 2023 issue of the NACE Journal

blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at

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