No Take Backs

I know I always say this, so apologies for my redundancy, readers, but after recruiting for years I always think I’ve seen it all. And then, WAMMO, another something crazy happens. Though someone is a better moniker for what happens actually because all these lessons are learned directly from a candidate lacking good judgment. Therefore, let’s commence a lesson in take backs, as in there are no take backs!

But really quick, the best dramatic use of the term “take back” is from Goodwill Hunting. Note, this clip is for adults only.

Back to today’s lesson. I was recently recruiting for a subcontractor resource which is rare for my job as a corporate recruiter, but it happens every so often. I really like this type of recruiting since it’s so fast-paced and in a matter of a couple days, I’d identified an excellent candidate for our opening. Let’s call this person Mary for confidentiality’s sake. Mary spoke to our Project Director late on a Monday evening and we’d assembled an offer for her mid-day on Tuesday. After our conversation about the offer, she said she had to check with her husband and would get back to me in 30 minutes.

I waited.

A while later, I received an email saying that she regretfully could not take our offer due to its travel requirements (which I was assured travel was not an issue in our initial interview). Dang it. I had let our Project Director know the bad news when not even an hour later I received another email saying that her other opportunity was dragging their feet and if our offer was still on the table, she’d like to accept.


Come on! What a major red flag! If Mary had waited one more hour to get back to me, she could have just accepted. Needless to say, our offer was rescinded. Why would I ever want my opportunity to be second choice and then live with the notion that as soon as something better comes along Mary will jump ship and really leave our project in a lurch?

The lesson here is, always safer to assume there are no take backs allowed. Once you decline an offer, you must live with the risk that it may not be there an hour later. No flip flopping.

About the author


Cassie Sturdevant

Cassie Sturdevant is a Senior Recruiter for Impact Advisors, a healthcare IT strategic and implementation services consulting firm just named 2013 Best in KLAS for Overall Services. She specializes in humor and follow up.


  • Even more than the position being a second choice, how about just being honest? If she had another offer, she could have just been honest about things as opposed to lying about the travel requirements. That’s embarrassing.

  • Agreed! I have no doubt Mary is still seeking work and I find it ultimately strange that individuals risk their industry reputations by behaving in this manner. It’s a small health IT world…..

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