“You’re Hired, Just Kidding:” What To Do When A Job Offer Is Rescinded

August 10, 2015  |  

What’s the point of working on your resume, getting a stylish outfit and heading off to a job interview if you aren’t going to get the position? You might think this is a silly question but folks can get in their feelings after so many rejections. That’s why hearing “you’re hired” is music to your ears.

Now that you have a fresh job offer on the table, you’re probably thinking about how you’re going to quit your job. Will you give the finger, leave quietly, or do backflips to the front door? Hopefully you wait to do any of the above, lest an unexpected situation arise: The position you thought you were getting is no longer available.

Say what now?

Companies have been known to do this. Whether they unexpectedly run out of funding to make room for you, or work things out with the person they tried to replace, a rescinded job offer is an extremely painful blow. Even if you signed an employment contract, most businesses will treat you as an employee at will — and still have the power to boot you when they feel like it. While there might be little you can do to salvage your position, here are some tips that might help to provide clarity on your next course of action.

Ask why. Now is the time to ask questions, but make sure you do so in a professional manner. There’s nothing wrong with trying to figure out what went wrong. Did they run out of money? Are they taking a turn in a different direction? Were you not the candidate they wanted? Hopefully you’ll get a response, as companies aren’t exactly obligated to give the tea.

Think hard about job discrimination. There’s a big difference between being black and not getting a job, and taking a virtual job interview, getting hired  and having the position rescinded because they saw your LinkedIn picture. Or maybe you were pregnant and no one noticed until right before your official start date. Yes, it’s hard to prove job discrimination, but is still an option to consider — if you truly feel that’s what happened and aren’t just in your feelings. The U.S. Department of Labor has the rundown on Equal Employment Opportunity laws that protect you from job discrimination. Read up to see if any situations apply to you.

Ask for a refund. Just because this business said no thanks to your skills doesn’t mean they’re off the hook for any expenses you had to cough up in order to get the position. Kindly remind them how much you paid (and they approved) for you to relocate to take the job, as well as any other related expenses. If they want to act like they don’t understand your English, lawyer up. In addition to approved expenses that were paid, those who were promised a signing bonus for taking the position also need to inquire about the funds.

Ask for assistance. If you were supposed to be employed with this company and things fell through, see if they’re willing to allow you to collect unemployment benefits. After all, it’s the least they can do considering they dropped this bomb in your lap. If that doesn’t work, inquire about a possible severance package — even if it’s only for a week or two (e.g. paid vacation). You won’t know your options until you open your mouth.

Consider waiting. This can be good news depending on how you look at things. If a company’s reason for not immediately hiring you is because of budget, see if they’re willing to give you the job in a few months. Sure this isn’t the most ideal situation, but if it means you get the job, you might want to think about it.

Rely on your funds. Can you see why emergency savings and other streams of cash are important? You never know when you’ll find yourself trying to endure difficult times. Until you find another position, do your best to hold yourself over and pay bills.

Inquire about your previous job. Ain’t nothing wrong with checking in with your last employer. One can only hope you knew the do’s and don’ts to quitting a job — and actually did the right thing. This might make it easier to get your old position.

Learn for next time. Now that you know how the game is played, help protect yourself from future burns. It’s important to get the stipulations of you taking a job in writing once an offer is on the table. You want to include things like reimbursement should things take a turn for the worst.

Has something like this ever happened to you? If so, what did you do?

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN