Candidate accepted offer but won’t set start date!!!

If a candidate I nonresponsive how long must you wait before rescinding an offer? I work for a well-known company that requires a clearance to support the project and the individual received an offer letter, which he accepted.  The individual went thru the clearance process, received the clearance, and when I called to set the start date he has been unresponsive to calls and e-mails. The one conversation I did have with him he told me he had another offer and needs to decide. How long do we have to give him? Several HR individuals say we can’t rescind until he declines the position.  He accepted the offer but is being non-responsive to use in regards to setting a start date… How long can we be expected to “wait” for this person to decide to start?  It’s been over two weeks already.  I can’t believe that we just have to wait forever for this person to decide to start, which he may never do.


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Normally, rescinding an offer is really a last option.  In a case like this, there's certainly nothing wrong with sending a letter with delivery confirmation, preferably a signature for receipt, that tells the candidate that the offer stands for x number of days because demands of the business require that the position be filled timely.  I normally put that language in the original offer letter.
  • Thank you. I was going to suggest the offer letter be changed so going forward this is not a problem--surprisingly a big company like this doesn’t already have that in place…  However, I’m still feeling there must be some guidance in regards to a company’s option in  a case like this. Would this be covered under at will employment?

  • [quote user="salaney"] Would this be covered under at will employment? [/quote]

    It's actually better than a pure at-will situation.  A pure at-will situation would be like when you fire someone based on a lottery (perhaps just to amuse the owner of the company, a stupid and sadistic yet legal reason).

    Although at-will applies and will be enough, you have a business necessity case to buttress the simple fact that you don't have to keep someone on board.

    Another thing to consider here is this person is now your employee.  You indicate they accepted the offer.  That means they are now subject to your policies.  Your company sets the schedule.  Another option would be to simply tell them when they have to start by and who they have to report to and then start the NCNS timer or otherwise enforce your attendance policy if they don't get with the program.  Honestly, you don't really have to go that far: accepting a job offer does not place the new employee in the position of never having to report to work.

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