Rescinding Offer: Why You Might Withdraw a Job Offer

Joynese Speller was excited to start a new job as a project delivery specialist for a health care company on June 6.

As she wrapped up at her old nonprofit job on a Friday, she emailed her new company to confirm her start time on Monday. Hours later, she got another email: The company had some logistics to work out on their end, so Speller would actually start on Tuesday. That slid into Wednesday, and then Thursday.

On Friday, Speller got a phone call. Due to budget cuts, the job she hadnt even started yet was being eliminated.

“I was told they were trying to find me a position in a different department, but its also the end of their fiscal year, so theyre taking a long time to get back to me,” Speller, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina, tells CNBC Make It. “I left one job thinking I was going to another, so I wasnt financially prepared for what was coming.”

Going back to her old workplace, which she says was “toxic” and had high turnover, wasnt an option — but she needed to pay for a car repair and care for her 4-year-old son. Shes been doing Doordash deliveries to make ends meet for the past three weeks.

After taking a few days to process her rescinded job offer, Speller fired up LinkedIn to apply for jobs and saw more news of major companies doing layoffs and taking back offers. “I didnt realize it was so prevalent until it happened to me,” she says.

Rescind offer is an action taken by an employer who chooses not to hire a person who has already been offered employment. There are many reasons an employer may rescind a job offer.

How to Rescind That Accepted Job Offer

How to rescind a job offer

Follow these steps when its necessary to rescind a job offer:

1. Be thoughtful about your decision

Rescinding a job offer is a big deal, which is why you and your team should be thoughtful about this decision. You may want to consider meeting with your legal team to understand the potential liabilities of this situation. Determine if this is the best possible option for your team. Keep in mind what your new hires own situation is too. Meeting with professional advisors can help you more carefully choose what language to include in your rescinding letter.

If you need to rescind a job offer due to internal issues, try to remediate the situation. For instance, if you have a different job opening the candidate would be a good fit for, you may want to see if they would take this job. Likewise, you could try to connect this individual to any other job opportunities that you know of. Let them know you are open to giving them a recommendation.

2. Inform the candidate

Be as courteous as you can when telling the candidate about your rescinding job offer. Its likely that they were looking forward to starting with your company, and this news means they will need to continue their job search. Rather than sending a brief email or leaving a voice message, try to reach this candidate on the phone.

Let them know why you are withdrawing your job offer. If it is due to your own mistake or miscalculation, apologize for your error. When its due to your own error, try your best to leave on good terms. If it is due to a candidate being dishonest or behaving poorly, let them know why this behavior is unacceptable for your company. You want to make it clear that your company didnt take this decision lightly. Still, give them the chance to give their own explanation on the matter.

3. Put your decision in writing

In order to avoid any miscommunications or discrepancies, you should send them a formal rescinding offer letter. Consider stating that this job offer was at-will and was not a contract. Similar to your phone call, state why you are withdrawing your job offer. Use professional and polite language no matter the reason for rescinding your offer. You want this letter to reflect favorably upon your company.

Reasons for rescinding an offer

One of the only reasons a hiring manager may not withdraw a job offer is due to discrimination. There are laws protecting people from discrimination due to race, gender, religion and national origin. A hiring manager can rescind a job offer for many other reasons, such as:

Rescinding offer letter template

Consider using this template to help you write your rescinding offer letter:

Dear [candidates name],

We are writing to inform you that we must regretfully rescind your job offer for the [job title] at [company name]. We made this decision due to [reason for rescinding offer]. This letter serves as a formal communication to let you know that your job offer is no longer available with our company. [Company name] is under no obligation to give you compensation or employment moving forward. Our initial job offer did not serve as a binding contract, as this job offer was at-will.

We wish you the best in your job search and hope you can find a role that serves your interests. If you have any questions, please contact [HR representative] at [phone number] or [email address]. Thank you for your understanding of this situation.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your job title]

Rescinding offer letter example

Here is an example of a rescinding offer letter:

“Dear John Martin,

We are writing to inform you that we must regretfully rescind your job offer for the lab technician role at Lab Company. We made this decision due to your failed drug test. This letter serves as a formal communication to let you know that your job offer is no longer available with our company. Lab Company is under no obligation to give you compensation or employment moving forward. Our initial job offer did not serve as a binding contract, as this job offer was at-will.

We wish you the best in your job search and hope you can find a role that serves your interests. If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Walz at 555-222-3432 or [email protected] Thank you for your understanding of this situation.

Sincerely,

Sam Wilson

Hiring manager”

FAQ

What does it mean to rescind an offer?

rescind Add to list Share. If you get a call saying a company has decided to rescind your job offer, it’s back to the classifieds for you. Rescind means to cancel or revoke. Things that are rescinded: policies, court decisions, regulations, and official statements.

Is it legal to rescind an offer?

Yes, but there could be legal consequences, so an attorney’s advice should always be sought before rescinding the offer. Even if an employer has stated on all offers that employment is at will and can be terminated at any time, there is the concept of the employer making a “promise” of a job.

Can I rescind an offer after accepting?

Can you back out of the job offer? Yes. Technically, anyone can turn down a job offer, back out of a job already started, or renege on an acceptance at any point. Most states operate with what is called “at will employment.” This means the employee and the employer are not in a binding contract.

What happens when a job offer is rescinded?

Many times you’ll find a job offer rescinded after the background check. Or the job offer is rescinded after a credit check. Basically, employers rescind job offers because you failed some contingency. That is, that your employer had some legitimate reason to pull the job because you failed some step in the process.

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