Offer Rescinded

Does anyone have these types of horror stories? Here's mine as it just unfolded:

Two months of interviews for an investment role at a platform of a megafund. Receive verbal offer at the end of process and negotiate terms and comp. Just prior to HR "sending over paperwork", CEO of platform wants to connect to chat. Have a very positive conversation and get formally welcomed to the team at the end of the call. Following day, receive email from HR to hop on a call where the offer is rescinded with zero explanation. 

Any insight on how this ever happens / if this can be salvaged in anyway?

Comments (31)

Jul 24, 2021 - 9:18am

I think in this case you would have the right to a conversation, ask HR why the CEO welcomes you to the team and then the offer isn't there any longer. Not only makes behavior like this make the firm look bad, it also is a strong warning signal to other applicants not to go here.

Legally, I don't think you have anything on your side, they never extended an offer or signed contract.

The only thing I could imagine is that your background came back with entries (criminal, bad credit, education unconfirmed, etc)

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Jul 24, 2021 - 11:24am

Really odd, idk what to tell you.

Only thing I'll say is senior people have Veto rights on any hire for any reason. You could crush every interview and modeling test but if the CEO doesn't like the way your face looks or the way your voice sounds, he may veto it.

It's highly unprofessional on their part to extend the offer before everyone has signed off. But it sounds like that's what happened.

You see this all the time on deal work too. You're revising the IC memo or CIM to the exact specifications of the VP / Director and then all the sudden the Senior MD sees it and is like "wtf is this shit? Re-do everything". It sounds like that's what happened, except with a new hire instead of an IC memo. Probably a blessing in disguise if that's how they run their business

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Jul 24, 2021 - 1:09pm

Similar thing happened at my firm a few years ago. Not exactly sure on the details but we essentially had our new hire lined up then they met with our CEO who dinged them. I didn't get a ton more detail on the situation because I was pretty new when it happened, but yeah, I guess it does seem to happen sometimes. I don't think there is really anything you can do. Does anything from your conversation with the CEO stand out? 

Jul 24, 2021 - 1:57pm

I can offer a few "maybes".. frankly very much guesses in your situation, but I know these can and do occur...

 - Budget/position got pulled - after the "CEO of platform" sent over the request to get you an offer from HR, something triggered a review or something caused the position or budget for position to get pulled by higher-ups (or more like was never actually fully approved). It's an odd fuck-up, but it happens. For it to happen so "overnight" seems a bit odd tbh, this more logical if you had been ghosted for awhile after the call and got the HR note/call like a few weeks later, but I guess overnight could happen. 

- Someone in HR or elsewhere canned you after your name got pushed up for an offer. Why would this occur.... most common reason where I have heard of this occurring is something "unflattering" comes up in a google/social media search. I've legit heard of this happening (from people who were on hiring committees), they may never tell you this for liability reasons, but it is super common. Clearly, you should know if this is a possibility or not, but it would fit the random/fast timing. 

- I guess the CEO could have been lying by welcoming you to the team, but that is really illogical and hyper-stupid on their part. Smart thing would have been just to end it by saying "we will be in touch", unless just a supreme dick this approach is crazy. Frankly the bad firm reputation (like if you say who in this forum...) is not worth fucking with people like this. Possible? Yes. Likely? NO. However, a subset potential is that someone else you interviewed or interacted with had meant (or thought they had) veto'd/killed your hiring, they responded forcefully by news an offer was forthcoming. Again, I don't see likely as this person would be literally contravening the CEO, which takes some balls and/or one hella position of power (including an admission of fucking up for letting it get so far). 

Other than those, I have no idea, but this is blind speculation of course. What would I do.... I'd call and email the CEO directly and in very polite, yet assertive means approach like "Hello, I received this note from HR, was there a misunderstanding, can you explain or do I need to provide additional information?". I'll admit, a "mistake" like this by HR is virtually impossible unless they just suck and some other candidate has nearly an identical name or something, but this is the "face saving" way of approaching the CEO in the hopes of some reconsideration. 

Jul 28, 2021 - 9:07am

Not sure you want to work for an org that would do this, but any chance they can get your position approved? Would you still want it?

Surprised HR called the next day, would have guessed more internal back and forth, but maybe the CEO person just relented and didn't want to fight/push it. This can happen when they get told "if you get this position, you lose this other one" type scenario, I.e. not a "no" but a "pick one" type scenario. That's super common in large enough orgs.

Jul 24, 2021 - 7:06pm

You should 100% call HR and inquire. Not because it's going to make the outcome less shitty but you just want to makes sure there isn't a loose end out there that will continue screwing you. They may not tell you but if not I'd say something like "Look, I know this is a liability thing for you guys, but I'm just looking for a frank answer so I do not have the same issue in the future" 

If I had to speculate perhaps someone at the company called a former coworker or mutual connection and got negative feedback on you. I have heard of that happening although typically it's during the reference check or before someone gets a verbal offer.  

Jul 24, 2021 - 8:03pm

HR isn't going to tell you anything, per company policy. The most common reason I have seen in this situation is the discovery of a tweet  or similar  social media post that was not on brand for the company. 

  • VP in RE - Other
Jul 24, 2021 - 8:58pm

Tough luck. Supper shitty of them. Sorry. It's shitty when both parties do it. It really goes both ways. We had two candidates (not just one off odd one but two coincidently) back out after  us extending them an offer, them accepting it, and we even got to the point where we were asking them their address so that we can send them their laptops. both of them decided to stay at their current place, and we are assuming they got a pay bump. 

  • Investment Analyst in PE - Other
Jul 25, 2021 - 10:58am

Nothing you can do...move on and find an even better role and know that at some point in your career down the road you'll have the opportunity to fuck them over in the same way they did to you, just wait for that shot.

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:29am

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  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Aug 3, 2021 - 10:43am

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