It’s such an exciting feeling getting a job offer. You spend the whole weekend celebrating and looking forward to your new role…until Monday morning, when you get a phone call from HR or find an email in your inbox. Rescinded job offers feel totally devastating, especially if you have no idea what to do next (or why this happened to you).
But don’t panic or take this situation personally. There are a lot of reasons why companies rescind job offers. More importantly, there are some key steps you should take after this happens.
Why do companies rescind candidate job offers?
When companies have plenty of cash flowing their way, spending on talent to solve problems is well worth the premium cost, especially given the value great people add to the health of an organization. But when times are tough, companies can no longer justify additional costs for talent. This is especially true when the a new hire is being brought on to do isn't absolutely necessary to keep the company running.
We spoke with Chloe Belangia, who is an Executive Recruiter and Founder of the Young Professional Career Connects group on LinkedIn. Her group helps over 10,000 members support each other in the job search and hiring process. Chloe Belangia has incredible insights to share from the recruiting side of the hiring process on why companies rescind offers, and what you should do if this happens to you. As Chloe Belangia shares, “Talent, especially good talent, comes at a really high cost. Consider the salary, bonus, benefits and equities provided to one individual, compared to paying for, say, a software program, a temporary contractor or intern, or even a free offering as an alternative “solution” to the problems needing to be addressed.”
Particularly if you’ve been working with a recruiter, it seriously stings finding out your job offer has been rescinded. But remember, recruiters follow the strategy and direction set by executives at individual companies. While a rescinded job offer is incredibly upsetting to all involved, when a company’s prioritizing cost-cutting, “those who haven’t yet made their mark are usually the first to go,” according to Chloe Belangia.
Sometimes, the situation is even bigger than just your offer being rescinded
When a company shifts their focus to save as much money as possible, there are likely larger changes happening beyond your individual offer.
Chloe Belangia, founder of the Young Professional Career Connects LinkedIn group, shared that sometimes, “departments that don’t contribute to a company’s revenue-generating operations are usually declared unnecessary during any down-time.”
These departments may include (but are not limited to):
- Recruiting and people management
- Internal learning and development
- Field and digital marketing
- Even engineering teams building products that have yet to show a profit
No one likes hearing that classic break-up line “It’s not you, it’s me,” but when it comes to rescinded job offers, it usually really is the case. You should feel at least a little better knowing that there are likely large-scale shifts occurring in the company as a whole.
4 steps to take after your job offer is rescinded
Unfortunately, there are really no legal or formal actions to take if your offer is rescinded by a company. Since employment is considered ‘at-will,’ employers aren’t obligated to keep you on, just as you aren’t obligated to accept an offer or actually work with a company.
But this experience feels so overwhelming (and honestly, hurtful, too). Here’s how you should proceed if this situation happens to you.
1. Don’t let this one blip impact you long-term
Chloe Belangia doesn’t want anyone in the job search process to feel like having an offer rescinded is going to inhibit your success finding another role. She explains, “If your offer has been rescinded, first and foremost, I hope you realize how little this should affect your own personal morale. Especially now, every hiring manager everywhere should be able to empathize with the utter lack of structure and predictability facing the entire American economy.”
2. Leverage the connections you made (& the fact that you got an offer in the first place)
Really, Chloe Belangia says, “This is your chance to be in the driver’s seat of your career.”
You can actually use this experience to help you make new connections and even land your next role (and who knows—maybe this new role will be so much better for you long-term!).
Chloe Belangia recommends the following steps for candidates whose offers are rescinded:
- Mention the brand you had an offer from in your LinkedIn headline.
- Reach out to existing employees at that company asking if they can refer you to connections of theirs at companies still hiring.
- Use the additional free time to brush up on courses, devour books, visit museums and attend events that pique your interest in your respected field.
- Tell your story with confidence to as many people as you can, and better yet, publicly on LinkedIn.
- Share how you made an impact at X company, and due to unforeseen circumstances, that company is no longer part of your path.
Now is the time to keep your momentum going…not wallow in defeat (as appealing as it sounds when this happens). Like Chloe Belangia says, “Be active. Be hopeful. Be hungry for what’s to come.”
3. Take time to reorganize your job search
Part of the reason it’s so upsetting when a company rescinds your offer? You feel like you’re back to square one in your job search.
And sure, you’re going to be back on the hunt for a new role. But your mindset matters here! Consider this an opportunity to revitalize the way you apply for jobs and organize your job search.
Keep track of all your job applications and manage your job search in one place with Teal’s free Job Application Tracker — it’s the best way to land a new role by staying super organized. The Job Application Tracker includes a convenient Google Chrome extension so you can save applications and potential roles with one click. You’ll even be able to track your follow-ups and where each application is in the process.
4. Embrace this experience as part of your journey
One of Chloe Belangia’s favorite quotes is: “Everything you are going through is preparing you for everything you asked for.” During a tough situation like having an offer rescinded, it’s going to feel bad…but you’re steering the ship here.
Chloe Belangia shares, “While it may not feel like a win right away, the resilience and character you will build by superseding these circumstances is a gift — and a priceless one at that. You will come out of this a warrior, far earlier than anyone who did not experience what you’re experiencing right now.”
Even better? You’ll be able to share your story (and more importantly, how you reacted to the cards you were dealt) with recruiters.
Hiring managers are going to majorly respect how you bounced back from a tough situation, and you’ll give yourself an edge by showcasing your resilience. And Chloe Belangia agrees: “You will have a story to tell each and every recruiter you meet exactly how, when faced with adversity, you fought back. So they let you go early? Walk away with your head held high. It’s their loss, not yours.”
You're going to be okay
The job search process can be grueling, especially when something happens that’s a total shock — like rescinded job offers. But you CAN handle this, and honestly, it’s going to be just a tiny blip in your incredible journey. In a few years, when you look back at the situation, you’ll be grateful for how things worked out and how your path shifted.
Really, a rescinded offer is a chance for you to really hone back in on your goals and dreams in the job search process. And that starts with getting organized, especially with Teal's Job Application Tracker tool. You’re bound to find (and land) your new dream role in no time at all.