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Stepping Back from the Brink

Given the lack of qualified and available candidates in the workforce in 2017, the recruitment process continues to become more challenging and the time-to-fill for each position is longer than ever before. As a result, employers may become more open-minded and loosen the requirements for many positions, which can have a positive effect in attracting talented employees from other industries. On the flip side, the current market may lead employers to sometimes skip steps in the recruitment process, “settle” for a candidate that is not actually a good fit for the position, and even overlook warning signs and red flags with candidates.

Regardless of how much time has been put into the hiring process, it is never too late to pull back from a candidate. This could even include rescinding a job offer that has already been issued. Obvious reasons for rescinding a job offer include a failed drug test or the inability to clear the background check process. In many situations, however, the reasons to rescind a job offer are not black and white and require a willingness to make the tough decision when necessary. Situations which may lead EctoHR, Inc. and its clients to make the tough call to rescind a job offer include, but are not limited to:

  • A candidate attempting to strong-arm salary negotiations and demonstrating that he or she is either unreasonable and/or excessively focused on short-term monetary gains.
  • Inconsistencies in information provided by the candidate as compared to information learned through the reference process.
    • In some instances, multiple small concerns cause the potential employer to question the candidate’s ability to be rigorously honest and direct.
  • Evasion or delay leading up to the drug test or background check process.
  • Poor communication and follow up from the point of job offer until the start date.
    • EctoHR places emphasis on consistency in communication with its potential employment candidates. Anecdotally speaking, prior to hire and within the first two weeks of hire should be the “honeymoon” period when employers can expect the best effort and attention from new employees. If the communication deteriorates post-offer, this is a significant warning sign that should be closely monitored.

Rescinding a job offer never feels like a win for the candidate or the potential employer. Still, HR professionals and hiring managers that have significant hiring experience learn to trust their intuition and what the warning signs may be telling them throughout the recruitment process. It is almost always costlier to terminate a poor performer than it is to continue with an open vacancy longer than originally expected. Additionally, the cost of turnover is high, and not just from a financial perspective!

One important final note is that an employer’s potential risk should be mitigated through the development of solid language and policy related to offers of employment. Without the right structure, an employer may create undue risk in the hiring process and may also create unclear expectations with a candidate.

In short, it is never too late to make the tough decision to rescind a job offer to a new employee. While it may sound like a harsh perspective, it only gets harder to terminate an employee as time goes on and the employer may miss the last opportunity to avoid the pain and expense of a bad hire.

For information on EctoHR’s hiring process and best practices to minimize bad hiring decisions, contact the team at 810-534-0170 or

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