Rescinding a job offer

I have been fortunate enough that I haven't had to rescind a job offer that was not related to a drug screen or background check.  That has changed.  We made an offer to a candidate, he made a counter offer (2 + weeks later!!) and now the director is no longer interested in this candidate.  Any suggestions on what it should/should not include?


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  • Rescinding a job offer is much more dangerous from an EEO standpoint than having never made the offer in the first place.  Instead of sending a letter killing the offer, I would consider sending them a letter saying the offer is not negotiable, which might be sufficient to make then decline anyway.  Whatever you do, if you can avoid an outright rescission of the offer, put a time frame on their response.  An offer letter generally should requrie a time frame in which to reply.  For someone who believes they are in a negotiating situation, 2 weeks isn't necessarily so far out there, especially if the candidate is currently employed.

    Before we talk about what the letter should and should not include, an awful lot rides on why the hiring manager wishes to rescind the offer.  If the answer is "because I found someone I like better", that's a tough sell to an external investigator.  Whatever the hiring manager tells you, assess it for believability and imagine what it would look like on a large piece of poster board in front of a jury.  If that would look ok, then you've passed the first test.

  • I agree with TXHRGuy.  The big question is why the hiring manager wats to pull back the offer.  Is it because the candidate took too long to make a decision, because the candidate is making a counter offer, or something else?  As much as some managers don't like it, there are some positions out there where companies are competing over candidates and companies are having to make counter offers to get the candidate they want. 

    2 weeks may seem like a long time for a candidate to come back and make a counter offer, especially if you are trying to fill a position rather quickly.  It may very well be that the candidate has multiple job offers and was waiting for all of them to come in to do some comparison. 

    What are your thoughts on the whole situation?  You mentioned what the director thought but not what you think of the situation.  Do you think the candidates' counter offer is reasonable for the position?  Is this position hard to fill?  Do you have a really good candidate that you don't want to let get away?  All of these things are important. 

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