Hi, I wanted to know from an employer perspective, if a candidate accepts an offer and then rejects it, can we take any legal action or any action at all, on the candidate.
The offer is not signed, but a soft copy of the offer is sent and the candidates generally send a return e-mail that they accept this offer and then mention that they will join on a specific date.
My issue is, for certain positions we give them almost 2-3 months joining time, as they have the notice period in the other company. Many cases, even after vigorous follow ups, the candidates tend to reject the offer in the last minute, ie., just before 1 week of joining, due to various reasons. so in such cases, is there any possibility that we can take any action against such people, or we have to just leave it, because they are not our employees yet. This has become a huge issue now, because we are seeing too many last minute cancellation, by which all our planning gets disturbed.
Can any of the members help in letting me know if we have an alternate to this. Thanks, Malathy.

From India, Hyderabad
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Hi Malathy,
I dont think there is any solution to this.. Even I am facing this problem. There is no legal way to handle this since the offers are not binding on the person even if he/she accepts; everybody has the right to change their minds.
Now that the markets have opened up a lot of candidates just collect offers and then pick the best. But bcoz of this unethical practice of some people, we as HR are suffering big time. What I do to tackle this is while shortlisting I calculate the prabability of the candidate not joning at the last moment and thus interview and shortlist a few more CVs and put them on standby. If the first one declines , immediately another offer is made to the next best candidate.
Time is definetely wasted in this exercise but atleast you have ready candidates in hand, just in case...

From India, Mumbai
Hi Jyoti - I agree, but for certain jobs, we literally exhaust our backups too, and that's where the issue comes.And in some cases the staffing team has back up of those candidates who are not the very best, and also since its almost 3 months gap, even those candidates who were as back up, either would have accepted another offer in the meantime, or not interested, since we took so much time to revert. So an immediate replacement becomes very difficult for very senior jobs. If its an easy job, then I wont worry much, but for senior and tough jobs in market, we face big difficulty. Any ways, thanks for your reply.
From India, Hyderabad
I also suffered from this position. People take offer letter but last minute their mind get changed. Its their own decision. If you are candidate and you get good opportunity then you also take decision like that. Its normal.
In my previous company when we gave offer letter after that we took candidate resignation letter in next 7 days. So we were sure about their joining.

From India, Pune
Hi, I have started using another method.. What I do is when I send the offer letter I put a clause that once accepted this offer is binding on both parties, and if the acceptance is not sent within 2 days, the offer will expire. Till now its working since the candidates think twice before accepting. Try it yourself and gimme the feedback.

From India, Mumbai
Hi i often face the same issue, Jyoti could you please clarify that how does it binds the candidate? is it something legal binding? if not then how does it works?
From Pakistan, Karachi
Hello, 1) You should maintain back up with some other suitable profile 2) and need to fallow up with candidate in between, when you issued offer to join 2-3 months.
From India, Hyderabad
Dear Malathysrinivasan ,
When you give offer to anyone:
1) Just check there willingness.
2) Give time limit for accepting offer letter otherwise offer will be automatically cancelled.
3) Give time limit for receiving there resignation.
4) Follow up for joining time to timely.

With Regards,
Vineet Deshmukh

From India, Yavatmal
say one signed offer letter and accepted - its employee prospective....
now notice period is 30 days then within say 30 days mind get changed....now one dont want to join...is there any legal punishment to employee...

From India, Madras
Hello Malathy,

The problem you mentioned is pretty common & widespread, especially in the IT industry.

I guess Jyoti has given good & practical suggestions.

But there's one thing/aspect in the scenario that doesn't really jell.

The situation of Offer acceptance & rejection before Joining is more often observed in junior-to-mid level positions.

But you mention that you are facing this problem with senior-level candidates, who by virtue of their age & experience are usually mature & keep their word--once given.

Have you explored/examined about ANY OTHER reason(s) that COULD the cause(s) for the problem you are facing with senior persons?

The possibilities could be many for senior persons acting this way--BUT you can gauge this ONLY by the body language observations during your interaction in F2F & Telecons--this is where Jyoti's experienced suggestion ['.........calculate the prabability of the candidate not joining......'] comes-in.

Another way--though a bit tough to implement--is to insist on References from the LAST 2 or 3 employers. That way your Reference Checks would cover a wider time-window. And suggest give careful thought to the Queries/Questions included in the Reference Check Questionnaire--include INDIRECT queries that would give an ides of the mentality/attitude of the candidate. Hope you get the point.

BTW, what is the domain/field of your company--IT or any other?

All the Best.



From India, Hyderabad

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