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Offered a job and accepted and then withdrawn?!

(18 Posts)
FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 15:20:45

Not sure if I'm ranting or after advice really...

I got offered a job last week following a two stage interview process, which included doing a personality test, writing a strategy and presenting it and meeting two panels during the final interview (following an initial shortlisting stage which was an hour interview). I said I would happily accept, saying I would of course need to go through the salary offered, terms and conditions etc.

Having been offered the job I was asked if I could come in and meet the chief exec today as they wanted to meet the chosen candidate - both HR and the deputy chief exec said it was an informal meeting, not part of the process, especially as I had already been offered the job. Got there this morning and said hello etc, the CEO said he didn't have much time but asked me a couple of questions. Was in there for 10 mins. After that, went to HR and filled in all of the forms, talked about getting my contract and my notice period etc.

Anyway, the CEO then said he didn't like me and not to progress with my application. I am fuming! Is this right, or even allowed? Feedback was that I hadn't worked for that specific kind of organisation before (well yeah, my application said that as well as me during the two interviews) and that they didn't feel one of my particular skills was up to scratch (they assessed that in 10 mins versus the six hours of other interview work I had already done).

Director of HR called me about an hour ago saying they won't be progressing with my application. I made the point they had already offered me the job and he didn't know what to say - they aren't not progressing, they are withdrawing. He asked if he could get the guy who offered me the job to call me. I said yes, of course. Yet to hear from him.

What the hell. Is this normal? Are they even allowed to withdraw like that? Why bother with the whole interview process if a 10 min meeting with the CEO was so important???

Tweet2tweet Wed 26-Sep-12 15:46:20

You can't be turned down for a job beacuse someone doesn't like you. However do you have it in writing that you were offered the job? Also is this a SME by any chance? Sounds like they don't know how to operate a recruitment function. I'd question whether you really want to work somewhere where the CEO seems to operate as a dictator. I know that doesn't help you right now but imagine you got it and then 2 months in the CEO chose 'not to like' you....

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 15:53:25

I say 'didn't like' but the two bits the HR director told me about were the not having worked for an org with that structure before and that they didh't feel one of my skills was up to scratch.

I am a bit flabbergasted by it all.

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 15:54:34

Oh and no not in writing. A call from the dep CEO and another from HR, who congratulated me. No question of it having been offered.

TimothyClaypoleLover Wed 26-Sep-12 15:54:38

Sounds a horrible situation. However, IMO if you haven't signed a contract I would imagine they could withdraw the offer at any time. Not an expert though, just going on my experience of HR. Although I am surprised that meeting the CEO was not part of the process if it is that important and then you would get offered the job. Agree with Tweet that they don't seem to know what they are doing so you may well be better off out of it.

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 15:55:12

Sorry - multiple answers. No not an SME. Massive co. who should have v clear recruitment procedures.

Tweet2tweet Wed 26-Sep-12 15:56:55

Sorry to not have a great update but if you have nothing in writing then they can suggest that there was never a formal offer. I know that is really unfair but I have heard of this kind of thing happening (especially in SMEs).

Tweet2tweet Wed 26-Sep-12 15:59:28

If a large company you could put in a complaint to Head Office. Probably won't help you get the job but would give you the chance to offer the feedback.
You didn't hand in notice to a current job or anything did you?

mirry2 Wed 26-Sep-12 16:00:26

Was the job offer in writing and did you accept in writing? What forms did you fill in?

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 26-Sep-12 16:05:20

Even if there is a formal offer, and it has been accepted, I am afraid they can withdraw it. The only real exception is if the reason is discrimination (e.g. sex, race, etc). There is a possibility you might be entitled to some notice pay, depending on how soon you were due to start and how long teh notice period is.

Sorry, it's a shitty situation.

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 16:06:24

I was just about to hand in my notice. After meeting the CEO this morn (and before hearing he'd put a stop to it) I went to HR who asked me to tell my referees they would be getting a call. I completed occupational health form, bank details, pension opt-in details, P46 form and a few other bits. They took a photocopy of my passport.

Reading some bits online, there is 'a contract of employment comes into force as soon as there has been an offer of employment and an unconditional acceptance of that offer, even if the offer and acceptance were communicated verbally. This means the withdrawal of an unconditional job offer will constitute a breach of contract.....'

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 16:08:07

It's totally shitty and totally unprofessional and undermines the seven people who interviewed me and said I could do it.

Tweet2tweet Wed 26-Sep-12 16:13:38

Thankfully you haven't handed in your notice, you could have sued for loss of income if so. However I suppose in reality with a large organisation you would be taking them and their legal team on and it would be a tough call.
Unlikely that you can really do anything at this stage, regarding the breach of contract it is highly unlikely that you will get anywhere with this.
They sound terrible, really out of order that they got your hopes up and then just did this without any thought to your situtation.
You have a right to ask for feedback on your interview process and reason for not getting the job in writing. You can also ask what meant successful candidate was selected over you. Again though proving the discrimination thing is VERY, Very hard

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 26-Sep-12 16:22:44

Yes, you are totally right. Technically it is a breach of contract if an offer has been made and accepted and is then withdrawn. But your compensation is limited to what you would have received if they had terminated your contract lawfully. The most that can be is your notice pay -but you might not even get anything depending on timings. For example, if you had a two week notice period but weren't due to start for three weeks, they could have given notice and you wouldn't have received any actual money.

You cannot sue for loss of income. That is an unfair dismissal remedy, and you don't have unfair dismissal rights until you have two years' service (one if you started before April this year, which you obviously didn't).

Sorry, as I said, it's shitty.

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 16:23:43

Re other candidates, they would have turned them down when they offered me the job. I did ask though it they would appoint another candidate and they said 'no, no other candidate will be offered the job'.

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 20:00:37

Still fuming about this.

< drinks more wine >

shattereddreams Wed 26-Sep-12 20:09:53

Happened to me once, small local family firm though. One brother gave me job. Other brother said no recruiting.
I wrote a stinky letter and told them they owed me a months notice. They paid.

FrickinAnnoyed Wed 26-Sep-12 20:27:37


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