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Can Candidates Rescind Job Acceptance?

Kelly Lee
Digital Content Specialist


There’s nothing as grand as when one in all your candidates accepts a proposal. And there’s nothing as depressing as when that very same candidate turns round and declines the identical provide.

Wait, what? How does that occur? Why does that occur? How are you going to cease that from occurring?

Why does a candidate rescind job acceptance?

Our story begins with the truth that we’re in a candidates’ market. In such a market, all job seekers and candidates have extra choices. Not solely that, however the perfect job seekers and candidates have essentially the most choices. That’s as a result of extra corporations and organizations need the perfect candidates to work for them.

Because of this, high candidates don’t have any qualms about exploring a number of alternatives with a number of employers. They might be concerned within the hiring technique of two, three, or extra corporations. (The truth is, one recruiter informed me final yr that they had a candidate who was interviewing with seven organizations and obtained provides from all seven! When did they discover time to sleep?)

So you’ll be able to think about how this state of affairs performs out. A candidate receives a proposal of employment and decides to just accept it. Nonetheless, since they’re immersed within the hiring technique of one other group, that employer additionally presents them with a proposal. And it simply so occurs to be a greater provide than the primary one. So what does the candidate do?

The candidate does what they consider to be of their greatest pursuits: they settle for the second provide they usually decline the primary one . . . after initially accepting it. They went with the “BBO” . . . the “larger, higher provide.”

Is it moral to do this? From the hiring supervisor’s perspective, they might most likely say, “No, it’s not.” From the candidate’s perspective, they might most likely say that it’s a “grey space.” How grey, candidate? “Charcoal,” they might reply.

In the end, although, none of that issues. What does matter is what you, the recruiter, can do about all of this.

The quick reply: not a lot, after the actual fact.

Rejecting a job provide after signing the provide letter

Let’s speak about earlier than the actual fact, lets? The preliminary provide to the candidate is normally a verbal one, made by both the hiring supervisor or the recruiter if the group used one for the search. Regardless, the verbal provide is usually adopted by a written provide letter. The candidate is anticipated to signal the written provide letter as a gesture of goodwill.

However . . . is that signature and the corresponding doc legally binding?

In a phrase, no . . . not likely. If the provide letter is paired with some type of contract, then maybe there are some authorized ramifications. However these cases are uncommon on the planet of employment, particularly for positions that fall exterior of the C-suite.

Really, the extra widespread state of affairs is when a candidate indicators a proposal letter after which the corporate rescinds the provide. The candidate mistakenly believes that they’ve a authorized proper to work for the group as a result of they signed the provide letter. Nonetheless, for the needs of this weblog put up, we’re discussing a state of affairs during which the candidate and never the corporate modifications their thoughts.

So can firm officers then sue the candidate to pressure the candidate to work for the group? Even when the candidate signed a proposal letter and a corresponding contract that might permit the corporate to do such a factor, would that actually be of any profit? Take into account the next:

The corporate would principally be “forcing” the candidate to work for it. The candidate could be working for the group in opposition to its will. How lengthy do you assume it could be earlier than the candidate stop?

Let’s say that not solely was the candidate required to start out work for the group, however they had been required to work there for a sure size of time. What sort of angle do you assume they might have? Reply: most likely a poor one. How would that angle have an effect on different workers?

Would the candidate, if compelled to work for the group, finally attempt to get fired, simply to be rid of the state of affairs?

How does any of this profit the corporate? It doesn’t. Mainly, it’s not price forcing the candidate to start out work, even when the group has the authorized leverage to make it occur. So . . . firm officers simply let the candidate go. Hopefully, they’ll make a proposal to their #2 candidate, the runner-up who’s now the best choice.

After which, in fact, there’s you, the recruiter. Your candidate was employed and nearly began work. You nearly obtained a placement verify. You nearly earned a price. Nearly. Sigh.

Stopping a candidate from declining a job provide after accepting

So how are you going to stop all of this from occurring?

You shut the candidate. And then you definately shut them once more. And repeatedly. The candidate is rarely actually closed till you’ve collected your placement price and the assure interval has ended. Then they’re lastly closed.

From the recruiter’s perspective, all of it comes right down to closing candidates in a aggressive market. And Prime Echelon has already devoted a whole weblog put up to that subject, titled “Learn how to Shut a Candidate . . . When It’s a Candidates’ Market.” In that put up, we cited seven particular steps for closing a candidate (and conserving them closed):

  1. Establish the REAL ache factors early within the course of.
  2. Pre-close the candidate utilizing these ache factors.
  3. Hold closing all through all phases of the method.
  4. Do all the pieces you’ll be able to to shorten the method.
  5. Make the provide as quickly because the consumer has determined that it needs to make the provide.
  6. “Promote the socks” off the provide.
  7. Make the candidate really feel needed.

However is that sufficient? Is there extra that you are able to do to stop the nastiness related to a candidate who modifications their thoughts. Fortunately, there may be! And all it includes is asking some particular questions previous to the provide stage of the method. These questions are as follows:

  • “If the corporate makes a proposal and also you settle for it, will you settle for a proposal from one other group if one other provide is made to you?”
  • “If the corporate makes a proposal and also you settle for it, will you settle for a counteroffer out of your present employer if one is made to you?”

Feels like simple sufficient questions. You may be asking your self what the purpose of those questions are. In spite of everything, the candidate might simply lie. Nonetheless, that’s precisely the purpose. There are only some completely different ways in which this may play out:

  • The candidate can say that sure, they are going to settle for one other provide or a counteroffer. If that’s the case, then you definately warning your consumer. (I do know, I do know. What are the probabilities that’s going to occur?)
  • The candidate might say, no they won’t settle for one other provide or a counteroffer. Then they settle for the provide out of your consumer and do NOT settle for one other provide or counteroffer. If that occurs, all is effectively!
  • The candidate might say, no they won’t settle for one other provide or a counteroffer. Then they DO settle for one other provide! What the heck? That is what we needed to keep away from!

Settle down. Right here’s the fantastic thing about asking these questions. By asking them, you’re principally forcing the candidate to make a quasi-commitment to your consumer’s provide. Positive, they may nonetheless bail on you, however they must make a liar of themselves within the course of. They must sit there and assume the next ideas:

“Gee, this new provide is healthier. However I flat-out informed that recruiter I’d not settle for one other provide. If I settle for this one as an alternative, then I’ll be a liar. I just about lied proper to their face. You recognize what? I don’t care. I don’t care if I lied and all people thinks I’m a liar. I’m going to take this different job as an alternative.”

And if that’s what they’re going to assume and that’s what they’re going to do, does your consumer actually wish to rent them? And it covers you, as effectively. You’ll be able to say to the hiring supervisor, “I requested the candidate point-blank if they might settle for one other provide after accepting your provide they usually stated no. So that they lied.”

The underside line is that candidates are much less more likely to lie and return on their phrase in the event that they’ve already acknowledged that they might NOT return on their phrase. It might nonetheless occur, sure, but it surely’s much less probably.

That’s not a complete lot of ammunition, to make certain, however when mixed with the opposite steps listed above, it’s one thing. And in a candidates’ market like this one, you want all of the ammunition you will get.

(Editor’s be aware: the data supplied on this weblog put up ought to NOT be construed as authorized recommendation. When you’ve got particular questions on this subject, seek the advice of your authorized counsel.)


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