Harsh Kumar Mehta
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Adoni Suguresh
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Adv. Manoj Liyonzon
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Soumya Adhikary
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Hello everyone..

Hope you all are doing well..

I have a query, here it follows..

We are Software Company. Recently we have offered a job to a candidate for Sr. SEO Executive (Search Engine Optimization). After clearing everything regarding the package, joining date we have sent him soft copy of Offer letter. When I asked him to revert to that mail he said will be sending the joining confirmation next day. I agreed upon that and next day he sent mail stating that he won’t be able to join our company because his current employer is not releasing him and they are offering him the same package wt we are offering. Two days after I received another mail from his side in which he apologized for his behaviour and the delay in joining confirmation and also cleared he’ll be joining from the given joining date and there will not be any delay in joining from his side. Again around 10 days after I received mail from his side he stated that he won’t be able to join because he is shifting to Mumbai.

When I discussed the same with management they asked me to take legal action upon this.

Kindly suggest me what can be done
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First tell me what action you want to be take.
Its employee wish where he want to work, As on date just you offered him and he accepted your offer and the same day when same employer is ready to
give him same package then you can't be force.
Don't waste your time and money.
What is more important? Teaching him a lesson via legal action or hiring for the position and ensuring that it is not vacant.
This is a part of life in recruitment - so live with it.
Dear Veermati,

A offer letter is a document which a candidate can accept or reject. It is a offer which is offered by the company to the candidate who the company thinks thinks best suits the position they are hiring for.

According to me, there is no provision in the law for a company to take any legal action against the candidate to reject the offer.

As per your query below, the management has advised you to take a legal action because the candidate had twice accepted the offer and then backed out. The fault is from the candidate also, but the candidate will also try to negotiate in their current organization and if their current organization is willing to offer benefits as per the candidate's demand, then its the candidate who has to take a call for the offer. Your management had advised you because the time, energy and resources were utilized for hiring a suitable candidate.

Finally, I would like to say that try to place yourself in the candidate's shoes and see if it is actually possible to take any legal action or not.

Therefore, always have a second shortlisted candidate which will help you to reduce the re-work for that position.
Dear all, In my opinion no legal action can be taken as each and every person is having liberty either to accept or reject your offer. P K Sharma
As mentioned by my other friends why to waste time in negative things. You can not force someone to join or not to join. I have seen the cases where employee was offered a job and after getting relived from the present employer when he went to join new employer ,they refused to give joining.
If you talk legally also you can not take any action.in offer you should have mentioned a penalty clause where it should have mentioned clearly that after accepting the offer if you fail to join than you will be penalized for so an so amount.
Dear Veermati
You are wasting your time and management too. Please guide to your management that "In the recruitment process and In the sequence of finalization of candidates and after checking all candidature we are giving an Offer". The name of " Offer" is sufficient to decide that any clause of action can be taken / not.
This is for your future referance. Be think on the word "First"
I too agree with!

you offered the job and he didnt accept, then accepted then didnt join. candidates do that quite often when they have two-three offers in hand. many of them are simply job hoppers and not serious about quitting. for many of them giving interviews is just fun and learning. That's all.

being in recruitment we have to ignore them, no other option left. legal actions consume lot of time and energy which we can use for finding a better resource.

That's where recruiter always have two-three candidates in final list, if one didnt accept or join even after accepting, you offer another one in queue.

That is the circle we you will be used to after some time.

Although I would like to know from seniors if accepting an offer in writing will make a candidate liable to be sued in case of violating the offer by not joining. How practical this practice is in terms of following the contract of offer.

Moreover we always include 'this offer is subject to your joining on XX/YY/ZZZZ date at HH/MM." it stands cancelled once the time is over.
I have seen companies charging x% of monthly gross salary offered to employee while accepting the offer in physical just to ensure that candidate does not back off. Doing so you reduce the chances of not joining.
But believe me who got another good offer (in monetary terms) will not join even after paying the amount for offer.
An offer letter is just what it says - an "offer" you have made to the candidate. He did not join the organisation for whatever reason... Well, life is like that. My suggestion to you is to move in and offer the position to someone else. However, this time, keep a backup in case history repeats itself. Not accepting a job offer is no crime... so, forget legal action. :)
Dear Veermati,

It is very correct that no action can be taken against such job hoppers, who either wants to see where they stand in the market or wants to bargain with their current employer or negotiate with other companies showing your offer.

Action can only be taken if the candidates joins & leaves immediately, say even a day after joining.

There are few things that can be done on safer side:

1. Keep Options – instead of having giving offer to only one person, we can have the list of other candidates prepared so that if one candidates backs out, we have other who can be given offer instantly. Hope you are doing the same.

2. Second thing what you can do is not mention salary details in the offer. Salary part you can discuss at the time of finalization of candidature and show it (CTC break-ups) in writing and take signature on the salary offer, at the time of negotiations.

3. You can simply state that you are offered so and so designation and your date of joining will be on such and such date. You can also mention in offer letter that, that the detailed appointment letter shall be issued up on your joining, where salary part is also mentioned. If he joins and leaves immediately after joining, you have the right to take legal action, as he have done the joining formalities/ sign the joining documents.

4. What at the most you can do is to inform his current employer about the situation.

Apart from this, I do not see anything can be done other than to blacklist him from entering to your company in future. Also you can inform in other similar companies about such candidates, so that they can be cautioned.
Don’t hire this guy and black list him. Be thankful that you do not have a guy who is dilly dallying, in your payrolls and close his file forever.
Dear all
In our organisation we have introduced Staff deposit policy for the candidates who are selected and been interested to join our organisation, accordingly we issue offer letter. In any case, the candidate says at later stage that he will not join as per the offer letter, the amount deposited by the candidate will not be reimbursed. this was implemented to curb such type of issues and results were very good from the policy it self and no case has been happened till date. This may and may not be worked out subject to candidate to candidate.Your organisation may think of policy like this.
Dear Veeravathi,

Did you / Company made any such contract that who ever accepts the offer or confirms that will join rejects later ,coma[pny can take any action legally.
No Such rule and if it is so No employee will come forward to take offer in your comany so at any time candidate has the right accept or Reject
HR Dept
Just imagine a situation, wherein, you have shortlisted 5 good candidates for one position. You issue offer letter to only one candidate but during interview you communicate indirectly to all the candidates that may be offered a job. If the other four candidates do not get any communication or offer letter, can they take any legal action against the organisation ? In fact most of the organisation do not even bother to communicate to the rejected candidates, as a matter of courtesy. I used to thank the candidates at the end of each interview, for having made it to attend the interview. These are simple gestures which all HR professionals should emulate ! So dont consider taking any legal action, because there is no breach of contract here !!! Under what clause, under what rule can you contemplate action !

It is doubtful whether any action can be taken against such candidate who refused to join after being selected on account of following reasons:-

(1) Article 19(g) of the Constitution of India ( which is one of important Fundamental Right) lays down that "All citizens shall have the right to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business".

(2) Secondly, to bind any person with agreement to service before his actually joining the services of any organisation will be just like agreement of bonded labour. Such bonded labour was abolished long back in the year 1975. Even after joining any service or organisation, no employer can force any citizen to continue to undertake their employment. Only claim can be made against such person in accordance with terms and conditions of employment, if agreed in writing.

It will be more better if the employers at the time of finalisation of select list after interviews may maintain waiting list to avoid such like situation.
I too agree with all writers who have expressed their views in this thread. The letter of appointment is the document offering a position to a person in the Company. You mention the clause that, he should report for duty on or before (mention the date month and year) failing which the offer letter stands automatically cancelled. Once if he fails to report for duty, the offer letter does not have any meaning, Alternatively, formal offer letter can be sent and finaly appointment order can be issued after his reporting.
Adoni Suguresh
Sr.Executive (P & A) Retired

My response is directed to Smit Patel who said-

1. Keep Options – instead of having giving offer to only one person, we can have the list of other candidates prepared so that if one candidates backs out, we have other who can be given offer instantly. Hope you are doing the same.

2. Second thing what you can do is not mention salary details in the offer. Salary part you can discuss at the time of finalization of candidature and show it (CTC break-ups) in writing and take signature on the salary offer, at the time of negotiations.

3. You can simply state that you are offered so and so designation and your date of joining will be on such and such date. You can also mention in offer letter that, that the detailed appointment letter shall be issued up on your joining, where salary part is also mentioned. If he joins and leaves immediately after joining, you have the right to take legal action, as he have done the joining formalities/ sign the joining documents.

4. What at the most you can do is to inform his current employer about the situation.

attribution https://www.citehr.com/494581-what-a...#ixzz32cf8BWUh

My observations are:

Of the above, only point one is the best transparent option.

What is the quality of the candidate who will join when you only show the CTC breakup but offer nothing in writing? Only the most desperate will join, and it may only be for the short term.

It is correct to mention that the detailed appointment letter will be provided after joining. However, I am not sure about what kind of legal action you can take if the person joins and leaves quickly, within the same week or month. Apart from enforcing a notice period recovery (which very few candidates will pay because they have not been in the system long enough to show your organization on their resume), it can also be adjusted against the days worked by them. Again this is a waste of time since the line manager will be yelling for a replacement.

For point 4, informing their current HR - I believe this is a feel good option only for yourself as the HR, and has no practical value. I would not recommend this, unless there is a serious fraud which has taken place for which the police complaint has been registered. If you feel that a strong message is being sent by this action, it possibly may not be the one that you intend.

I am not sure how many quality candidates will flock to your organization for employment since the organization is displaying low trust with its employees.

My reason for writing this response is that we must seriously consider the impact of our plans before taking any action which may have an unintended effect.

veermati legal action is unnecessary & will not work out too
Dear Mr. Ryan,

Thanks for pointing the mistakes that can be avoided. Also would request for your inputs that are missing in the thread.

I have written these as we are also facing the same and these were just a point of caution. I joined Oil & Gas sector recently that has recently started its business. Here we have been conducting recruitments and we are experiencing the same with the candidates.

That's why we have decided to follow few points as stated.

Based on your inputs what we can do is to mention CTC only in Offer Letter and detailed break-up can be issued after joining. candidates requires some kind of confirmation of their selection with the company.

Regarding Appointment Letter, I would like to know why detailed appointment letter needs to be given without candidates joining. What difference will it make if we give appointment letter instead of offer letter. I suppose many of the construction/ infrastructure/ IT industries issues only offer letter.

And about informing to current employer, ok with your suggestions.

Will look forward of hearing from you and open for your suggestion, that will make me & team more learned.
Hi Veer,
Employment is nothing but the contract between Employer and Employee. Employer offers a job and Employee accepts it, according to The Indian Contract 1872 also there are provisions for the acceptance that it must be free consent. No one can insist the other party to accept the offer. So it all depends on the Acceptor's interest to accept it or not.
It is better to forget about the candidate. If you want you can restrain him for any future job applications in your organization.
With Best Regards,
Hi Smit,

Part of my response to the problem of dropouts is already in my previous post on this thread.

I also read the article of ET which you shared - thanks for that. My personal feeling is that the article has been paid for specifically by organizations which are more bothered with financials rather than providing a strong employer brand that offers a great place to work. As the article itself mentions, it is difficult to exactly quantify that cost to a particular figure and as such can be challenged in court. Additionally, the offer is made to the candidate after being screened by the recruitment consultant and at least 2-3 levels of interviewing in the organization. If during this process, the candidate comes across something which in his / her perception creates a doubt about joining, then he / she will already have second thoughts by the time the offer is tabled. There are many instances I am aware of, where due to the interaction between the candidate and the organization post accepting the offer, the candidate refuses to join.

Now let's turn this around - What should a candidate do when, for some reason or other, an employment offer is withdrawn by the organization? By the logic of the article, and preserving the principles of equal justice, the candidate should then have every right to sue the organization for breach of contract. Which organization do you think will compensate the candidate? and how much will they compensate?

To explain further - Dropouts are a way of life in the recruitment function of HR. All organizations, from the Great Place to Work, to the not so good places have dropouts.

The reason I said that we should move on to the next candidate and not waste time, is because penalizing the candidate doesn't help the employer brand image (I mentioned this in the earlier post). Building the employer brand is a long term strategy which all HR people should be focused on - we can't leave it to the line managers because they have other targets to manage, and we know that if this is not managed well, then the repercussions are huge and financially costly. There are organizations which have to pay higher compensation for regular positions because their employer brand is so bad, that candidates are not interested to even send their resumes, never mind the attend the interviews.

At this point again, please consider - while you are working on trying to get some of the cost of recruitment operation back, the position is still vacant, further adding to your cost. How will you answer your management at the end of the year? And how will they answer their shareholders?

w.r.t. appointment letter, let me clarify - please give the detailed appointment letter after the candidate joins. Before that you could share the offer letter with the CTC breakup. The offer letter generally mentions the CTC breakup, designation, grade and date of joining. It can also mention points about medical fitness if you have medical checkup as part of the recruitment process.

Please note that the solution you provide of an offer letter without CTC details is incomplete and would not be accepted by most professionals. Trust begets trust, so also does fear beget fear. The incomplete offer letter shows a lack of trust from the organization.

Let me ask (and you please ask your friends) if you would join an organization without receiving an offer letter, and have received only verbal information about the role, designation, grade and CTC? We are already aware of cases where the candidates join organizations only to find that their role, designation and even CTC are not the same as mentioned in the offer letter - and they try to leave as soon as they get something else. How do you explain something like this to your spouse / family - that you resigned your job without an offer letter, and are joining an organization, without anything in writing?

The appointment letter has all details of terms of employment including probation, confirmation, IPR, discipline and separation. The danger of giving only with the offer letter is that none or very few of the appointment letter terms are mentioned in the offer letter - and if such an employee does a serious fraud in your organization, especially with respect to an external customer, you have no legal hold on him, and cannot even file a complaint as an organization against that employee.

Hope this helps. Contact me offline if you wish to discuss this further.

Focus on finding out ways to reduce such incidence and increase candidate’s joining conversion rate.

To increase candidate’s joining conversion rate would suggest to -

- Highlight key Selling points of your company, project, profile for which you are hiring –

Do not simply close the offer by offering a letter and salary to candidate.

Tell candidate about various benefits your company gives.

Talk about work culture, fun at work etc

Normally, HR does all this at the time of induction, do a small part of it while offering to potential candidate.

- Call Candidate for interview 2-3 times - As per your company recruitment process, you can call them for some IQ test, EQ test, technical test, asking them to submit salary proof related documents

- Take resignation acceptance copy after offer made - He should do that within 3-5 days of offer acceptance. With this, you can at least be sure that he has not been retained by his existing company.

- Job Profile & Salary offered to candidate should be attractive & competitive as per current industry standards

- Keep your List of Backup Candidates updated

Best wishes and Happy recruiting

While everyone seems to be saying the same thing (Legal action is pointless), I would like to address a few factors that could have been addressed reducing the impact of this candidates rejection of your offer. This must not be taken as a criticism but as a "learning" platform.

Look at your interview questions, especially the ones connected to his motivation to change... The chances are extremely high that his motivation for change was purely finance related ( more money)... The probability of a candidate whose main "change motivator" is money, not accepting an offer is actually the highest among all such factors. They are also the most likely and easiest people to retain because all it requires is an increase in their compensation. Unless your offer is substantially high, they are very likely not to join.

His first refusal was an indication of the same.... He should have been out of the contention and his offer should have been immediately withdrawn when he refused the first time.... He was given or promised the rise in his current company but realized it was not meeting his expectation and that took 5 days, so he was back apologizing...:-) but obviously he was still on the hunt... He got his break that he wanted and so he didn't join again... Expected, very normal scenario!!!

What should ideally have happened from your perspective (and this is purely my opinion)... The moment his first refusal came, you should have withdrawn his offer letter and issued the next best candidate the offer... This is solely based on the assumption that you had the next best candidate identified... One of the biggest mistake that we make in the IT industry is stop interviewing once a good candidate is identified and offered. We restart once that guy doesn't join, which is a silly (sorry !!!) process. Keep interviewing till you have 3 possible candidates... Doesn't matter if there is a huge difference in their quality... In the quest to find the right guy, we forget a simple fundamental fact... an average guy is always better than no guy at all...

The other thing that could have been different was your ability to read the situation... There were enough indications of things not working out and i think, we should have been prepared for it... We again seem to always forget ( and i include myself in this group too) that Recruiting / HR is not about "Black & White", it is ONLY about "All Shades of Grey" in between. Our ability to understand these shades of Grey is what eventually differentiates the Great / Goods from the average / mediocre...

Go for Employer Branding. I think your brand is not so appealing to candidate.
sometimes unsatisfied people in organization give negative feedback to candidates so look for employee satisfaction.
review you policies and make positive changes to retain current talent and attract new.
Ryan & Soonal thanks for your inputs. Kindly let me know your contact details, that will help me in executing my work in more professionally with your guidance.
I think Veermati is in new in HR field...
Note : Almost 3 out of 10 reject the offer and 1 do not join on said DOJ.... so do not waste your time to take any action on candidate who earlier accepted your offer and now not joining....
While recruiting take care that you have choose 2-3 candidate for the 1 position and give offer based on that...so it may save your time...
If 1 reject offer then immediately you can contact 2nd who is in list of selected candidate...
I think this is most common situation faced in recruitment.
I had situation where outstation candidate call me in the morning to confirm that he is in city and will come to office by 10.00 AM and then around 10.30 AM he called me to inform that he is going back to his city as he got offer from company there.
So this is part.
Best thing you can do is keep 2-3 candidates ready who are selected and can join with short notice. So if one candidate back out you are not stick with no option.
Dear all
Everything is right but also my opinion is that why candidate mail for joining for conformation,
this kind of cash we also same mail forward to his/her organization for candidate's this kind of behavior.
Keeping it in simple terms,
No Sir, You can't take any legal action against any prospective candidate if he/she turns down your job offer.
The things could have been different if any promise written or any contract had been made during the selection.
However , you can debar his candidature from any upcoming recruitment by either your company or any subsidiary of your company or any other company with whom your company has an Employee Poaching Agreement etc .
Better always, have back up plans for any uncertainties like this from next time.
if you wish , just send a mail to that candidate citing you wish him good luck as well as not to repeat this and show some professional courtesy and clear communication from next time as how much responsible and tiring process \the process of Recruitment and Selection is in today's era. You are definitely more mature than the candidate;
Thanks and Regards
Hi veermati,
Even if you send his joining confirmation email to his present employer it will not make any diiference.
As he must have told his present employer that i have got offer from XYZ company and they have offered me ABC package if you want me to stay than increase my salary.
Don't waste your time behind this and from next time make sure you have at least 2-3 candidate shortlisted who are ready to join.
This is part and package of recruitment process.
Why to disturb life cycle of other organisation where you do not have any right?
Simply go for next candidate...India is of huge population and lot of talented unemployed are also available...it is not that if any candidate is not joining then n there ur work is going to stop...y to waste our time in these kind of issues?
Invest time to design new policy's n procedure in your organisation not to waste time in these kind of issues...
Note : It is my opinion not argument to anyone's write up....
No legal action can be taken in such a case.
How so ever, for keeping records, the HR can send the formal mail to the candidate mentioning the cancellation of the offer sent to him/her along with a reason.
Good luck!!
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