The Worst Thing You Can Do After Accepting An Offer!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Time and time again I see candidates accept a new position that they are really excited about and when the new company is getting ready to schedule a start date with that candidate how does that person repay them?

Those same candidates who are getting a bump in their salary, a better opportunity, repay their new employer by delaying their start date.

And I have worked with multiple candidates who after accepting an offer and being approved to start didn’t want to start their new position for 2.5 months or even longer.

As you can imagine this never goes over well with the new hiring manager.

I once had a candidate we hired for a high level role and once we were approved to start him the candidate told me that he couldn’t start for 2 months because he forgot about a vacation he had planned.

After much back and forth with the candidate and the hiring manager, and the candidate refusing to start, the hiring manager realized he couldn’t wait for this candidate to start so he promoted an internal employee into that role.  And then he told the candidate he could still join the company but it would be at a lower level role.

As you can imagine the candidate was furious and he said he had just put in his 2 weeks’ notice and couldn’t get out of it now.  But it was too late there was nothing anyone could do.

I’ve also seen a lot of candidate’s delay their start date because they wanted to finish the project they are working on at work.  Or my personal favorite, one woman said she couldn’t leave her job until her boss got back from maternity leave.

I guess my questions to the candidates who delay their start date would be, do you really want to leave your current company?  I mean there must be a reason why you applied to our job, interviewed, and accepted the offer, right?  Do you really want to join us?  And are we giving you a better opportunity?

If so then why are you delaying your start date?

Think of it this way, you are joining a new company, a new team, a new boss.  You are leaving your old company that mistreated you and underpaid you.  You certainly don’t owe them anything.  If they didn’t want you around any longer believe me, you would be gone in an instant.

Why not impress your new company, your new team, and more importantly your new boss!  Why would you want to create any potential rift with your new boss?  Other than your family your new boss is going to be the one person who has the most influence on your happiness and your future.

The best thing to do if you don’t think you can start within a 2 week period is be up front with the hiring manager in the interview and set those expectations then.

I have seen many candidates who couldn’t start right away, negotiate their start date expectations up front with the hiring manager and many times the hiring manager was able to work with their time line.  But whenever you surprise a hiring manager with your own timeline of when you can report to work I have very rarely, if ever seen it work out.

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