Q&A: Can I revoke a job offer?

Dan Marzullo, CEO and Founder of Drafted
Aug 25, 2022

Sometimes you extend a job offer to someone, and, due to various reasons, it just isn’t going to work out. So how do you revoke the offer? In this episode, Dan Marzullo, Founder of Drafted, gives some pointers on how to go through this process and shares insight on how to reduce the risk of […]

Sometimes you extend a job offer to someone, and, due to various reasons, it just isn’t going to work out. So how do you revoke the offer?

In this episode, Dan Marzullo, Founder of Drafted, gives some pointers on how to go through this process and shares insight on how to reduce the risk of it happening in the future.

Additional Resources:

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On this episode, you’ll hear:

  • [01:03] What to do if you need to revoke an offer
  • [02:13] How to mitigate this from happening again
  • [03:08] Why you shouldn’t revoke a job offer


Welcome to POPS, the show that shows you how to shift from human resource paperwork, to people operations for the new world of work. How by answering one question at a time I’m Dan Marzullo, Founder at Drafted Content here to help answer the question, how can you revoke a job offer? You may run into this scenario every now and then where you have to take back an offer that you had sent to a candidate.

This could be for several different reasons. Some of the examples could include maybe, you know, some new information about that. Candidate came to light. That actually disqualifies them from the position or maybe that individual didn’t meet certain company standards and expectations along the way during that job application process, or simply, you know, someone may have accepted the offer before your candidate had a chance to, so these are all, some common scenarios and.

Here’s what you can do when that happens. The first thing you need to do is contact HR, let them know so that they can help you find a new candidate to replace them in that role that you’re looking to fill. The next thing you do is notify the candidate. Explain why, right. Be sure to be clear as to why this is happening, let them respond after.

And give them the chance to present their side of the story, because you know what they say, it might be a misunderstanding or they might be able to change or fix the scenario, uh, which then ultimately lets them continue to, uh, work for the company and accept that role that you’ve offered. Give them a chance to correct those errors.

That’s kind of as a follow up there, depending on how they respond. If it’s a situation where you can do that, let them fix that. If possible, next thing that you can do is offer to help them find a new role, right? Assist them in any way that you can to just help ease that burden, make that candidate feel better.

And ultimately the final thing you wanna do. Review your hiring process to make sure that this doesn’t happen in the future, identify why these reasons happened and then see what you can put in place to prevent that common things to mitigate this risk. One of the simple things is offering or conducting a background check, right?

Don’t offer the candidate a position or a formal. Offer letter until you’ve conducted that background check, just to make sure all of those things clear and come back. The next thing that you can do is send a letter of employment and be incredibly descriptive in breaking down what that entails with that role in your company.

So one of the great things that you can do here is put some language in. That offer letter around that this is an at will employment, meaning that this employment is not guaranteed you as the employer at any time, have the option to revoke that job offer. So putting that in there from the get go, lets those candidates know what to expect.

So it’s not gonna be a shock if a situation like this does happen. Last thing we want to kind of touch on here really quick is why should you not revoke a job offer? There are certain scenarios, uh, one of the. Being discrimination, right? Maybe you find out the candidate has a certain disability or something like that.

You cannot revoke a job offer based on those circumstances, discrimination, things like that are gonna open up opportunities for lawsuits and get you sued as an organization. So you wanna avoid that all together. Do you have a question for us? Click the link in the show notes, or if you’ve got other ideas and feedback about the show, send them to [email protected]

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