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I recently got a job offer and went to the office to get my offer letter signed. However, when I asked for a copy of the offer letter, (through email and verbally) I have yet to receive a reply from the company. And my offer letter was printed on a recycled paper. I'm getting suspicious of this company because they don't seem to take me seriously (I'm a fresh grad btw)

EDIT (I missed out some info. I'm sorry) So the company is a really small PR agency (10-12 people in the company) from Malaysia, founded in 2012 (I'm Malaysian too). It's been almost a week since this happened that sent me into paranoia. The start date is mentioned in the letter itself. I only had the chance to read the offer letter on the spot when I signed it. And by recycled paper, I mean its printed on a used paper.

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    Hi, really need some more information - have you researched the company? What country are you in? – solarflare Jan 25 at 4:39
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    How long has it been since you signed? – bruglesco Jan 25 at 4:40
  • What did they say when you asked for it verbally? – AffableAmbler Jan 25 at 4:44
  • Also another thought that comes to mind - having one bad HR staff member wouldn't normally make a whole company bad or untrustworthy. Is this a possibility? – solarflare Jan 25 at 5:12
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    What do you mean by "printed on recycled paper"? Do you mean they reused some other printed page, or that the paper product itself was made from recycled goods? – Brandin Jan 25 at 13:19
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Trust is an interesting question. Never trust a company to do anything beyond look out for itself. That's just general career advice, not related to your question.

But for your actual question, don't stop looking for a job. You might find something better. You can keep looking even after you accept an offer. You can quit your job before you even start if you want if you find some place better.

As long as your not handing them you any tax information, they have little to gain by tricking you.

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TL;DR: It's a bit frustrating, but not immediately damning. Don't panic (yet.)

Knowing how long it's been since you requested a copy of the document (ie: how long they've been dodging/ignoring you) would go a long way to informing us on how bad it really is. Also, is this a small start-up or a big brand? I'm assuming its the former based on context.

If it's only been a week or so, maybe the HR person is just disorganized and/or busy (especially if there's only one person doing HR.) I've worked for companies where they didn't give me my copy of the offer until the first day I started working there.

If it's been three or four weeks and you haven't even heard a response, that's a little more concerning.

But if you signed a job offer, then you presumably have an official start date, yes? Not too far in the future? I'd say wait until then before getting too worried. Keep calling once or twice a week if you really want your copy, maybe even drop by the office to ask in person. Otherwise, wait until your first day and see how it goes.

Trevor's advice about keeping the job hunt open is good, too, although keep in mind that you have signed a job offer for this company. I'm assuming it wouldn't be too much trouble to bow out if you found something better, especially since you haven't started yet, but it is a legal document after all. Where I live there's usually a probation period in which the employee can leave for any reason, so if your locale is the same, you'd be covered (albeit potentially burning bridges.) Probably still wise to let any future interviewers know that you have one offer "on the table" until this gets resolved, though.

  • It's a small PR agency. I wouldn't call it start-up since it was founded in 2012 and I do hope that the HR person is just busy to give me a reply. But thanks for the advice! – Crystal Jan 27 at 3:41
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There are kind of 2 questions here:

1) Should I be worried if the company ghosts me after asking for a copy of my offer letter? Yes. You should be worried if your prospective future employer ghosts you for any reason. There are many reasons for this. One very easy reason is that, if this company establishes a practice of ghosting their employees, they might ghost you on your salary. For example, you work for a pay period (2 weeks, a month, etc), and then you don't get paid. When you ask the company for your paycheque, you don't get a response. Then what do you do? You should always be worried if your (current or future) company ghosts you.

2) Should I be woried if my offer letter is printed on recycled paper? Not necessarily. I would gauge how worried to be based on the status of the company. If it's a small company, a true "startup", then maybe they don't have resources to print a lot of documents and they use recycled paper as company policy. Maybe they're trying to be environmentally conscious and reuse recyclable materials. There's lots of explanations. However, large companies tend not to do this for professionalism reasons. If this is a large company, then I would be worried. If it's a startup, it might be an eccentricity of working there; it's certainly unprofessional of them to do but not damning.

As for what you should do from here: Here's an idea: Email the HR rep you're in contact with, and send them an email that looks roughly like this:

Hey Joe! I know we met a few days ago to sign the offer letter, and I'm still planning on coming in. Unfortunately, since I don't have a copy of the offer letter, I totally forgot what my start date was supposed to be. Do you mind reminding me which day we agreed for me to start work? Thanks.

The HR rep should respond to such a query promptly, because facilitating you coming to work on your first day is important to them. If they don't respond promptly, perhaps they're just busy. Follow up in a couple of days and see what happens. However, if the HR rep responds quickly, your level of alert should be elevated; the HR rep isn't busy, they're just choosing (for some reason) not to provide you with a copy of your offer letter. I would follow up with this:

Thanks for the response! I was just wondering, just to make sure I don't miss any of the other details of my new job, if I could have a copy of the offer letter to review on my own time before I start.

And see what happens. If they don't respond, then you should be EXTREMELY worried and should probably look for a way out of this company ASAP. Not providing you a copy of the offer letter could mean any number of things, including, for example, that they want to change the terms of your employment without telling you. For example, if you don't have a copy of the offer letter, they can modify the terms, re-collate the documents to look like you signed it, and then reprimand you or terminate your employment for a breach of a contract you never signed. This should be very worrying to you.

  • Hi! Thanks for the advice! I did send the HR an email regarding the offer letter 4 days ago (but yet to receive a reply) and I was advised to give HR a call on Monday but I'm a little worried about being too pushy. – Crystal Jan 27 at 3:47
  • @Crystal If they said to give HR a call on Monday, then give HR a call on Monday. You're not being too pushy if you are doing what they are asking you to do. – Ertai87 Jan 28 at 15:47

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