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Turn down an offer after having accepted it (UK)

ErikaFerszt's profile thumbnail
Hi Stacy, so I've had this happen to me as an employer. The person accepted the job, we stopped looking, and a few weeks before the start date he called to let us know that he had accepted another job. Naturally I was furious because we had a vacancy and now I had to start the process all over again. This meant that our team had to continue to perform the tasks for that open job, which meant they were done with less attention than they deserved, which put pressure on us from the organization professionally and personally. We were working far more overtime to fill that role's duties. There's also a concern in the organization that at any moment there could be a hiring freeze. So if you haven't filled your spot and they freeze funds, you lose a headcount. Of course there was nothing I could do about this, but that person will never work for me - or any one that was on my HR team - ever again in any position I land in in the future.I know someone who also found themselves in this position. He had agreed to take on a major role in a major company but it would require him leaving his home country (and uprooting his family). He accepted the job and then 1 month later got a better offer that didn't require relocation. He pulled out of the first contract. There's no immediate repercussions - but the people he was interviewing with, a very prominent and powerful family, will never take his phone call again and have nothing nice to say about him. His is a small industry so his job prospects are reduced should he ever be in the market again. That said - he picked what was best for him and is happy with his choice to this day.So, I absolutely believe everyone should do what's right for them, but it's also important for you to look at the situation holistically. It's a clear bridge burning so as long as you're aware of that going in, then you have to follow your gut on what's right for you.Good luck!Erika
Cant you reach out to the company you're most interested in and tell them you have an offer but you're really interested in working for them?
ErikaFerszt's profile thumbnail
I think that's a really good idea. Some companies may not like to feel like their hand is being forced, but if she's a top contender they will work to speed up their process. The communication has to be framed really delicately. It can't at all look like a "threat", ultimatum, or negotiating tactic.
Yes I think much better than to accept and turn down which wouldn't be a great idea as you mentioned.
Thanks so much @ErikaFerszt and @paulette172. I reached out to the other company to ask to have a meeting so that I can get clearer on the role they are after. And I am planning to contact the company who offered me to ask some more questions before accepting and buy some time.
SamanthaB's profile thumbnail
Hello Stacy, firstly well done on getting the offer - give yourself a big pat on the back. I too have had this happen to me as an employer and frankly it's not good behaviour. I'm a believer in never burning your bridges and what goes around comes around. It's great that you are buying some time but whatever you decide to do be aware that if you accept and then turn down for a better offer you will have damaged your reputation not only with the company but those individuals who are likely to go on to other companies, and again..... In summary, take your decision in the round and ask yourself if it aligns with your values.
It really doesn't and it doesn't sit well with me @SamanthaB that's why I am trying to buy some time with the company who offered and put some pressure on the other one. In the meantime I have decided I am not interested in the third one. Hopefully I am not going to burn any bridges and still behave in a way that aligns with who I truly am.