How to rescind or recall an Offer once given to the candidates?

A candidate usually assumes that his job offer is set in stone, which once made cannot be withdrawn and yes, it should be the case. However, there are exceptions to every general rule! 

It is possible that you make an offer and before the joining date of the candidate you decide against hiring them! Are you wondering what to do in cases like these? Well, do not wonder anymore! This article speaks about the various ways in which you can rescind or recall an offer once given to the candidates. 

What a lot of organizations are more worried about is the legal aspect of the entire process of rescinding an offer letter! It is a risky business and can lead to negative legal consequences! Although, this article will help you rescind an employee’s offer letter without having to face any legal consequences! 

Here are 7 ways in which you can rescind a job offer once given to the candidates! 

1. Be honest and apologize

When an employer rescinds the offer letter, it is very important to apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused to the employee during the period of transition (if any). Let them know that you have changed your mind about their employment and regret your actions. If the reason for such rescission is not privileged information then communicate it with the employee. Most of the times an employee is just looking for a reasonable explanation for what they had to go through! So, be honest and apologize! 

2. Tell them you are looking for something different

You can always tell the candidate that you are looking for a different job profile or that there was a mess up at one of the departments who issued the offer letter.  You can also tell the employee that had it been a different scenario or had there been no new-found crisis, the organization would welcome them with open arms or would have loved to have them on board. 

3. Have a backup plan

There are times when a candidate, in spite of the above two ways, decides to sue the organization. In these cases, you must have a backup plan! Call your lawyer before rescinding the offer letter and ask them about the charges you may have to face in case things go South!

4. Inform about the possibility of rescinding the job offer 

This is a safety net! During the interview, let the candidate know that there is always a possibility of the offer letter being rescinded. This may not happen but if you have informed the candidate beforehand, then, the ball is not in your court! 

5. Add an “employment at will” clause to the offer letter

An “employment at will” clause states that the candidate will or will not be employed at the will of the organization. The employer may rescind offer letter as and when it pleases and if in case it happens, you will have legal proof that you had informed the candidate about the probability of rescission! Not only will it make it legal but will also save you a lot of trouble. You will have nothing to regret! 

6. Make it quick 

The very moment you decide to rescind an offer letter, get on with typing that email or the letter! When an employer rescinds an offer letter, it is of utmost importance that such rescission is done as early as possible. The later it gets, the harder it becomes! In case of unavailability of necessary resources, pick up the phone, call the candidate and tell them about the probability of their offer letter being rescinded! Make sure you do it as soon as possible! Speed reduces the rate of risk! 

7. Stop it before it begins! 

YES, you are allowed to rescind the offer letter but make sure you do it before the candidate begins to work! Once the candidate has stepped into the gate to work, they become an employee! There are greater legal consequences of “terminating an employee” instead of “rescinding an offer letter”. To avoid these consequences, make sure you do not let the employee work in the organization, not even for a minute! Stop before it begins! \

So, there you have it! 7 ways in which you can rescind an offer letter! 

However, make sure it doesn’t come to this! Take the necessary precautions and give it a thorough analysis to keep it easy and efficient! You do not want to be an organization known for rescinding offer letters again and again! 

Happy hiring!


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