Federal Recruiting:

Comparison of Applicants Who Accepted or Declined Federal Job Offers

GGD-92-61BR: Published: Mar 20, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 1992.

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GAO provided information on the results of its survey of applicants who accepted or declined federal job offers for entry-level professional and administrative positions, focusing on: (1) why applicants accepted or declined the job offers; and (2) the applicant pool's characteristics, including differences between those who accepted positions and those who declined.

GAO found that: (1) at least two-thirds of the 94 job decliners reported that low salaries or the high cost of living in the job location caused them to lose interest in federal employment; (2) most job decliners who were in permanent jobs or self-employed reported that they would have suffered pay cuts if they had taken federal jobs; (3) over three-fourths of the 52 acceptors reported that they selected federal employment based on career advancement opportunities or a chance to apply their education and skills, and the remaining acceptors reported salary or job location as the basis for acceptance; (4) unlike the decliners, most of the 19 acceptors who were self-employed or in permanent jobs reported that they received pay increases when they joined the government; (5) compared to the decliners, a larger proportion of acceptors were unemployed at the time they were offered a federal job; (6) fewer than one-fourth of acceptors and decliners reported that they were enrolled as students when they applied for federal employment; (7) acceptors tended to be slightly younger than decliners, although most individuals in each group were at least 27 years old; and (8) although there was little difference in acceptors' and decliners' reported education levels and grade point averages (GPA), over 80 percent of each group had at least a bachelors degree and about two-thirds of the individuals in each group reported that they had at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

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