Why Companies Revoke Job Offers When You Try to Negotiate

by Evil HR Lady on December 16, 2019

Job offers should work this way. 

1. The company makes a job offer.

2. The candidate makes a counteroffer.

3. Negotiation.

4. The candidate either accepts or rejects the offer.

But, sometimes, companies stop everything after step two and revoke the offer. It’s not a common occurrence–most companies expect that you will negotiate–but it does happen. There are a few reasons companies yank back an offer.

The candidate makes a ridiculous counteroffer

If you get a job offer at $50,000 and counter with $90,000 and a company car, I won’t blame the company one bit for revoking the offer. You’re so far out of the range that it’s clear that negotiation will go nowhere. 

To keep reading, click here: Why Companies Revoke Job Offers When You Try to Negotiate

Have you ever revoked a job offer, or had one revoked from you? I’d love to hear your stories. Send them to EvilHRLady@gmail.com.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Grey December 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm

I had a situation just recently where I chose a candidate for an opening on my team and asked our internal recruiter to prepare and send an offer — and during the approval process the VP rejected the offer and said he was canceling the opening so he could use the budget for a different role on another team. Apparently the company had just completed its 2020 planning and it was bringing a significant shift in where we would concentrate our hiring. I argued that we had made this offer in good faith and should honor it with this candidate, but to no avail. We had to tell the candidate that the offer was rescinded. I’m not proud of how that turned out.

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Kathy December 16, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Upper management cancelling the whole hiring process partway through is something that happens rather often from what I’ve seen. I imagine all the candidates then writing to Ask a Manager to say, “I was so far through the hiring process and then they just dumped me! Did I do it wrong?”

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HC in HR December 16, 2019 at 11:03 pm

We were interviewing for an entry level accounting position. Our base annual salary was $55,000 – 65,000. We found a great candidate and offered her $65,000.00 due to her excellent background & our feeling that she was a good fit for our team.

She said that was lower than she was hoping for – but refused to give us any idea of what she was looking for.
The CFO had been quite impressed with her, and decided we could go up to $72,500, which is generally what someone in the same position after 2 years makes.

She came back with ‘I’ve had an offer from another company for $90,000. Surely you can meet that.”
We replied that we couldn’t and wished her luck at that other company.

She responded 1 more time stating that she was ONLY asking for $20,000 more and surely we could come to an agreement.
I advised her to take the other offer, as we were not going to go any higher than the $72,500 we already went up to.

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Florida December 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm

I wouldn’t have even come up with the $72,500. If you offer $65,000 and she says that’s not enough, but won’t tell you what is enough, then she is just playing games.

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Jane Atkinson December 17, 2019 at 1:57 am

Many years – I could almost say decades – ago, I had a job negotiation come to a grinding halt. I already had doubts at that stage whether I wanted to take the job anyway, so I wasn’t bothered by it.

But I think the big thing is that I was told that there’d been some kind of restructure imposed from higher up and therefore the position itself didn’t exist any more. i.e. I wasn’t left wondering what I’d done or said that caused the sudden change.

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Katja December 17, 2019 at 4:42 pm

Is negotiating always appropriate? If you’re applying for a job with a strict hourly rate and pay hierarchy (although I’ve never worked in grocery stores, I imagine it’s something like cashiers make 10/hr, customer service desk people make 12/hr, shift supervisors 15/hr, managers make 20/hr, etc – I pulled the amounts out of my hat) can you say ‘No, I want 12.50 to man the service desk’ or would that seem really tone-deaf?

Because it seems kind of odd to ask for more pay than the other six people that do the job you do.

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Ruth (UK) December 17, 2019 at 5:14 pm

I have worked a number of food/retail jobs both full and part time. Generally in those types of job, I have found the pay to be set and non-negotiable. They always just told me what it was and that was it.

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Florida December 20, 2019 at 4:00 pm

Negotiating for the sake of negotiating is never appropriate. It’s only appropriate if you believe what is offered is not reasonable based on the job, your experience, etc.
If somehow you bring more to the table than the other six people, yes you should get paid more. But if you bring the same thing to the table as they do, you should get paid the same.

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