Rebounding From a Withdrawn Job Offer!

By Joe Stein

It is the unthinkable for any Job Seeker…but, unfortunately, even something that we may think will never happen to us, can end up happening. What I am writing about is having an accepted job offer rescinded/withdrawn.
 
This week we will take a look at every Job Seeker’s worst nightmare and determine what you should do and (perhaps even more importantly) what you shouldn’t do.
 
There are several reasons why an offer is rescinded. Among them are:
 
·         Financial – Today’s economy is one of the reasons why there has been an increase in withdrawn job offers. At times, an indefinite hiring freeze is unexpectedly announced, which includes all those who have not started. This is usually a sign of really tough economic times (i.e., declining sales, budget restraints) for an employer, as usually those offer letters already extended are honored. The group most susceptible to this is pending college graduates who are lining up positions prior to graduation. The time between accepted job offer and start date can lead to many situations changing.
 
·         Change in Leadership – In some circumstances, the Hiring Manager is replaced from the time of offer to your start date.    In this situation, the company decides not to honor the hiring decisions of the previous leader.
 
·         Company Error – Hard to believe, but sometimes an employer makes a hiring decision error and hires the wrong person or too many for the position. In the case of too many, it generally is because multiple Recruiters are hiring for the same position and not communicating to each other.
 
·         Failed Background or Drug Screen – These are generally done by employers post-offer, in order to control costs. Understand prior to accepting what you will be tested on, as you will know whether the testing will pass or not. Move on to other companies if you know you won’t pass.
 
·         Lack of Respect for the Offer – There are some employers that have questionable ethics and will withdraw an offer if a perceived better candidate comes along prior to your start date. Better may mean several things, but it is often cheaper. These employers are the minority, as most employers understand the ill will caused by withdrawing an offer.
 
As you can see from the list above, there are several reasons why an offer may be withdrawn and only one of them can really be controlled by yourself. A common thread, of the ones out of your hands, is that (in the long-term) you are most likely better off by being away from this company. A reaction by many in this situation is, “I am going to sue”. I am not a lawyer, so please consult one if that is your plan. Generally speaking, since NY is an employment-at-will state, the opportunity for litigation may be limited.
 
What Can You Do?
 
·         Research Thoroughly – Before you accept any job offer and give notice to a current employer, do your due diligence regarding the company. If it is a publicly traded company, you will have access to significant information on the Internet regarding the opinion of analysts. If you hear of anything disturbing after accepting the offer, consider contacting your Recruiter to determine if you are at risk.
 
·         Don’t Completely Stop – If you are in an active job search, don’t stop your entire search immediately. Keep working your leads until you are positive you are going to start with the company. This way you do not have to start from scratch if an offer is withdrawn. The exception to this would be if it is fairly publicly known in your industry that you have accepted an offer. If you were close with another company, consider contacting them and explaining how your situation has changed.
 
·         Inform the Network – Let your network know your situation. This way they will continue to search for you. You may even find yourself more marketable when word gets out that Company “X” was planning on hiring you until their financial situation went kaput.
 
What Not To Do?
 
·         Play The Same Game – Don’t play the same game and solicit other job offers after you have already accepted one. There is a difference between continuing to search job boards and networking and soliciting additional job offers.
 
·         Take It Personally – As you read above, the reasons for a rescinded offer generally does not have any link to the talents of the candidate. Don’t allow this situation to throw you into a funk that will disrupt your job search and wreck havoc with your confidence.
 
·         Burn Your Bridges – Chances are you will not be interested in another opportunity to join the organization, but if you are, then you will want to make sure you stay professional. Even if you are moving on with your search, WNY is a small community at times and you will want to be professional in case you cross paths with someone again. If you are interested in the company, then make sure to communicate this to the Recruiter and stay in-touch with the person. 
 
·         Make Any Major Expenditures – Don’t celebrate with that big purchase, or sign any contracts if you are moving. Wait until you actually start to move forward with any major expenditure.
 
Receiving the bad news that a job offer has been rescinded should not be the “end of the world” for a Job Seeker. Use this situation as a motivator, as confirmation of your value in the marketplace, and the quality of your candidacy.
 

As always, the best of luck in your job search.

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