Candidate Pulls Out of New Job Day Before Starting. Who’s at Fault?

Derek Herman

I came across a complaint from a VP of HR and Talent Acquisition about how a candidate they sourced and hired reached out explaining that he was giving up the offer for another higher paying job. This notification came in the form of an email and the day before the candidate was supposed to start.

 

Sometime later, that same candidate came back to the recruiter and said that the job didn’t work out and wondered if there were any other openings. The candidate was blacklisted.

 

Yes, this is irrefutably annoying. However, where is the line drawn?

 

Does the candidate stick to his/her word even after getting a potentially better offer? Or is it generally accepted that anyone would choose to take a position doing what they love for a higher salary and the motivations should be understood?

 

Should the candidate have relayed all the explicit details of other job prospects to the recruiter along the way? Or did the TA professional drop the ball and not cover all bases with the candidate to find the best fit for the role?

 

In my opinion, there is no black and white answer.

Simple Solution

 

It’s impossible to say who’s in the wrong in the example as we don’t have the entire context except for what was posted. But if we imagined that both recruiter and candidate had legitimate reasons for why they acted the way they did, then building a bridge between each party would alleviate any confusion and annoyance, supporting a lasting relationship for future opportunities.

 

What is that bridge made of? Communication!

 

It’s the most common solution in the book. Converse. It’s that easy.

 

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” –George Bernard Shaw

 

Candidates are guilty of withholding information and recruiters are guilty of not following up with candidates during all stages of the recruitment process. Communication is a two-way street and with communication comes trust.

 

Recruiters work with a candidate from that first phone screening through to the 2nd and 3rd in-person interview just for the candidate to fall off the face of the earth. Shortly after, that candidate has an updated job on their LinkedIn with a company they never told the recruiter about.

 

Similarly, job seekers see this throughout their time searching for a job. They get the generic, “We’ll be in touch with next steps” after an initial interview and never hear from them again. Sometimes, they get a verbal offer, but then never receive the letter and when asked why not, the TA professional never responds.

 

Instead of pointing fingers and playing the blame game, just COMMUNICATE. It’s the key to a happy marriage and resolving arguments amongst friends, colleagues, and world leaders. It will also prevent any conflict between applicant and talent headhunter.

 

Life happens and takes us in all different directions when we least expect it to. Sometimes the reason isn’t as simple as getting a better offer or finding a better candidate. If you really want to impress each other, get away from the email approach and pick up the phone or write a thank you card explaining why you’re going in a different direction.