On Second Thought, We Won’t be Hiring You: When to Rescind a Job Offer

Very few hiring managers want to be in the difficult position of having to rescind, or “take back,” a job offer once the offer has been made.  Rescinding a job offer that has been accepted is even more difficult.  Unfortunately, certain circumstances require hiring managers to consider this tough option – and in some cases, to use it.

When should we consider rescinding a job offer?

Rescinding a job offer may become necessary in the following circumstances:

  • A condition of the offer is not met.  For instance, if the employee needs to pass a criminal background check or credit check but fails it, rescinding the job offer may be necessary.  Likewise, if the employee must sign a non-compete or non-disclosure agreement and fails to do so, the employer may have grounds to rescind the job offer.
  • The position is no longer needed.   Although hiring managers work hard to make accurate predictions about the company’s staffing needs, no hiring manager can see the future.  If circumstances within the company or the industry change, a position may lose its funding or simply become unnecessary, forcing the company to rescind the offer.
  • Events between the interviews and the offer reveal unsettling information.   In some cases, the hiring manager learns something about the candidate that, had it been known earlier, would have prevented the hiring manager from extending the offer in the first place.  This new information may be discovering the candidate lied on his or her resume, or realizing during salary negotiations that the candidate’s work and negotiation style are incompatible with the company or the position.

How can a company protect itself if rescission becomes necessary?

Every initial job offer your company makes should be made in writing.  The written offer letter should include specific information to clarify the terms and protect the company if the offer later has to be rescinded.  Include in the offer letter:

  • The conditions of the offer: signing a non-compete agreement, passing a criminal background check, or other requirements.
  • Information about benefits, duties, and pay.
  • A statement that the relationship is “at will.”

Avoid using language that states or implies the employment relationship will last a certain length of time, like “annual pay” or “many years to come.”

At TERRA Staffing, our recruiters can help you navigate the entire process of finding and hiring an ideal candidate.  Contact us today to learn more!

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