Revoking Job Offers—Yay or Nay?

In today’s fast-paced and dynamic employment landscape with job offers galore, revoking job offers still stands as a questionable practice that could have a negative impact. Some scenarios leave employers with no choice other than to revoke jobs offered and are willing to take the risks of the legal, ethical and reputational aftermaths.

Revoking job offers

Revoking  a job offer, also termed as rescinding, refers to the action of withdrawing a job offer that was already committed to a candidate. This could be a result of a multitude of reasons ranging from unexpected financial crises within the organization and modified operational strategies to a problematic finding in the candidate’s background or profile.

Sources, including the top 10 recruitment agencies in USA, have revealed that roughly 30% of the candidates have dealt with rescinded offers in the last year. A majority of the revoked offers were observed in the real estate and IT industries.

Why does a company revoke job offers?

There are several internal as well as external factors influencing an organization that could lead to employers taking the drastic measure of rescinding a job offer. Enlisted below are a few common yet unavoidable ones:

  • Business Necessities

Budget constraints due to internal reasons or factors like economic downturns can often lead to revised workforce structures. Revoking a job offer becomes an unfortunate yet essential part of downsizing the organization.

  • Candidate-driven Reasons

Discovering falsified information, failed background checks, and not clearing pre-employment screening tests often lead to a revoked offer as a measure to protect the organization. A misalignment in understanding the job role can also lead to revocation. In some occasions, offers have been rescinded due to internal decisions of promoting or transferring existing employees for the same job role.

  • Operational Strategies

Shifts in business priorities, cancelled or paused projects, or client attrition can evoke a sudden change in organizational strategies and internal policies. It also leads to the necessity of a new hire becoming invalid and results in revoking job offers.

  • External Factors

Government laws and regulations and changing market conditions can impact an organization’s recruitment needs and can result in revoked job offers.

Drawbacks of revoking job offers

Revoking a job offer can have adverse effects on a candidate as it is never easy to share bad news and can open up doors to uncomfortable conversations. It also has a negative impact on the employers that can affect recruitment processes to the organization’s brand. 

  • Revoking a job offer can seem like a breach of trust that causes mental and financial stress to a candidate
  • It can damage the reputation of the company as it gives a negative impression to the revoked candidate who could influence potential talents
  • There is a risk of lawsuits if a candidate decides to take legal actions against the organization
  • Rescinding job offers portrays the organization negatively as unpredictable and unstable
  • It also can cause a stir among existing employees who may start questioning their job surety in the organization

Steps to revoke a job offer

With a few measures, an organization can make the process of revoking a job offer less damaging for its own reputation and easier on the candidate:

  • Review

Evaluate the reasons for revoking the job offer and explore whether a compromise can be achieved. Ensure legal, HR, and company policies are in compliance with the situation. Consider alternatives to help the candidate instead of taking the drastic measure of rescinding the offer.

  • Document

Maintain a detailed record of the decision-making process for internal records and legal purposes. This could include the candidate’s details, details of the job offered, reasons for revocation with proof, the stakeholders involved and dates of important conversations, notes on legal issues and complications, and details of communication with the candidate. 

  • Communicate

Draft a detailed and formal email/letter explaining the reasons for revocation, while also expressing your regret at the missed opportunity. If required and possible, schedule a meeting to deliver the news—in person or virtually. Explain to the candidate clearly about the reasons for rescinding while also being compassionate about the situation he/she is facing.

  • Support

Offer assistance in the forms of referrals, resume reviews, or job searches to the candidate. You could connect them with your partner agents and offer exclusive contingency services. Depending on the damage done, offer a basic compensation to the candidate to recover from any potential losses incurred. Extend your support with essential counselling that could prevent the candidate from losing confidence.

  • Follow-up

If there are any legal repercussions or negative feedback brought to your notice, address them promptly and precisely. Ensure to keep in touch with the candidate even after the revocation interview to maintain a positive relationship and avoid any future complications. 

How to deal with revocation as a candidate

Dealing with a revoked job offer can be quite challenging and stressful as the sudden decision can impact future plans and financial responsibilities. Here are some tips to decrease the adverse impact of revocation:

  • Be professional. Stay calm and hear the employer out
  • Ask for clarity if the reasons behind revocation seem vague
  • Request feedback on the interview, your resume, and scope for any areas of improvement
  • Negotiate and try to reach a middle ground. You could probably tweak your profile to match the employer’s requirements with the promise of developing new skills
  • Review the contractual terms and seek legal consultation if the revocation seems unfair
  • Resume your job hunt. Apply for jobs online, reach out to your network for referrals, and take help from professional communities and forums
  • Be transparent. If the revocation is questioned in the future interviews, be honest but also ensure you don’t shed a bad light on the revoking company
  • Focus on your well-being. Amidst all the stress, try to have a positive outlook and stay confident over any potential opportunities

While rescinding is not an easy decision to make for the employer or a comfortable situation for a candidate to be put in, it becomes inevitable due to the compelling reasoning behind it. If handled tastefully, it need not necessarily be a negative and can also help an employer build a good relationship with candidates.

If you are worried about or are currently dealing with revocation, a trusted recruiting agency can assist you transition to a new opportunity. We at HireEazy focus on empowering candidates with career growth opportunities across several industries. Sign up today and gain access to our exclusive and personalized recruitment services.