So you as a Manager are expanding your team and recently signed a new promising team member(subordinate). After few weeks of signing the potential future employee comes back saying that he has another better offer and would not wish to join your company. Though he does leave you with 2 Options.

  1. One is to quit on the first day give a notice period of a Month as per the signed contract.
  2. If you agree then cancel the contract and not enter the job at all.

You work for a service based company where you need to introduce this employee to the client and get him billed through client or the company pays his salary till he is onboarded to the client.


Should you accept the first option and make him work for a month teach him a lesson or you let me him go and start searching for another candidate already?

  • 12
    As a businessman, your sole job is to create a profit for your company. Why would you want to waste your time and resources on somebody who obviously will not want to to be there and will not perform optimally? Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 11:27
  • 6
    What lesson are you planning to teach him exactly?
    – Long
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 13:37
  • The same question has been asked here from the perspective of the quitee, I can't find it to link now. The answer was congruent with Ed's suggestion.
    – rath
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 13:45
  • The opposite question came up several times actually. Usually in countries where employers take such a breach of contract as a personal insult and will make the (non) employee pay if they can.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 18:06

8 Answers 8


The only time not to take option 2 is when

  • you can't get someone else for this time period;
  • you would lose money if there is nobody doing this (or you would make enough money with him);
  • the job doesn't take much training (compared to how much money he is making to you);

So you would do this when you are a restaurant in high season and looking for someone peeling potatoes and can't find somebody else, or something similar, but in general you would take option 2.

Doing option 1 just to punish him is possible but stupid, unprofessional and will cost you money.

  • Thats actually the smartest answer till now.
    – Anirudh
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 13:21

Accept the second option. Saves you time, effort and money.

Why waste his/her time as well?

  • 25
    Importantly, why waste your client time as well?
    – Vylix
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 7:34

Should you accept the first option and make him work for a month teach him a lesson or you let me him go and start searching for another candidate already?

That's a rhetorical question, right? Because you cannot "make him work". You just can't. What will you do if this person simply does not show up? Best case is that there is a fine written into the contract that he has to pay if he does not show up. Otherwise, you cannot do anything.

So that realistically only leaves option 2 anyway, which is good, because Option 2 is what saves you time and money. Your company is not interested in "punishing" someone. It has no feelings. It's sole purpose is to make money and that is done by not throwing good money after bad, getting over it, and hiring a new guy as soon as possible.

  • 4
    Companies can have explicit goals other than making money. But punishing this guy is probably not the goal of any company....
    – jmoreno
    Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 3:13

All contracts can be altered by mutual consent and apparently the mutual consent here is that it is all a waste of time.

Also, many contracts involve a trial period at the start of the contract where either party can cancel it without notice or reason, don't you have that option? Otherwise you might look into including it in future contracts.


Should you accept the first option and make him work for a month teach him a lesson

Do you really want to have an untrained employee, who doesn't want to work there anyway? What are you going to do if he doesn't show up? Or if he shows up and just drinks coffee the entire day. Fire him? He could turn the tables on you, and demand to get paid for the notice period.

Why waste your time and money just to "teach him a lesson"? Whatever he learns from the lesson, he won't be applying that while working for you.


Take option 2. Life is too short. Be happy, because the employee could have told you this just after you introduced him / her to the client. Which will effectively leave you with option one only. I would feel a bit embarassed in front of the client if I had to tell her that the guy they spend a month onboarding have to leave. So I will also probably try to offer some sort of discount or something to restore the balance. In a way - you are lucky :). The only luckiest thing would be to not hire the employee but this is a risk you have to take I guess.


Should you accept the first option and make him work for a month teach him a lesson?

Is your company in the business of educating the populace on how to adhere to your desired hiring etiquette?

Could it cost your company's reputation to be known as an employer that desires to punish its own employees?

Sorry, it can sting to have one's plans upset; but, I doubt you really want to take a path that includes retribution for the upset. As a manager, you have more to lose by punishing employees (no matter how temporary) than you have to gain by furthering your company's goals.


You could also add Option 3: Ask him in what ways the other offer is better and whether he would reconsider if you could match that offer. That might make sense, if you really need the person and he would otherwise be a good fit for your team.

  • 2
    If you do that, expect him to leave anyway. You just taught him that the management team aren't actually managing, they just do whatever it takes to have a quiet life. That's not the sort of company anyone ambitious wants to work for. And if you are really unlucky, the new recruit won't leave, but when the word about how your "company remuneration policy" really works gets around, everyone else will start updating their CVs.
    – alephzero
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 13:43
  • @alephzero I did not say it comes without risks. But on the other hand I'd rather work at a company that adjusts their payment scale to the market when the need arises. Sure, if the other offer seems outlandish to what others in his position make in your company there are other implications. And you will need to evaluate whether the risk that he tries the same again is worth it. Then again, for someone ambitious it could also be a good sign that you can increase your salary IF you can show your market worth in this company. Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 13:47
  • 3
    @alephzero And even if you don't adjust your offer, you might get more information on the current market rates, that you can use to adjust offers to other candidates. Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 13:50

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