Weeks ago, I was approached by my senior management for a lateral post (with a promise of promotion after 6 months), which I did accept. I was promised many things, increment, promotion, etc. They also told me to start asap, and to start the process of transitioning to the team I am currently in.

A few days before the date that I am supposed to start at the new lateral post, i have heard through the grapevine that the senior management started to interview external candidates and have also offered some other internal staff for the same post that I already accepted. (I have asked the head of dept directly that he/she required only 1 headcount for that post).

A bit gutted, and blindsided. They have yet to say anything to me and no letter has been provided by HR for the offer.

Senior management has kept quiet until now, and I have been sitting pretty quietly waiting for them to say something. I feel a bit hurt by their actions of not honoring their words.

Should I approach them? Do they have the right to do this?

UPDATE: They wanted to meet up with me soon. Apparently to "discuss about the post". Which seems a bit odd. Im thinking that the discussion is merely to break the news to me, or they might offer it again. Which i am a bit hesitant to accept the offer.


  • 9
    As is often seen on this site, verbal words are worth absolutely nothing.
    – Fattie
    Feb 13 '19 at 13:43
  • 3
    I think you should start looking for another position, if they treat you like that, how do they value you?
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 13 '19 at 13:43
  • 1
    Have you talked to them and asked for clarification?
    – JeffUK
    Feb 13 '19 at 13:54
  • 6
    @Fattie yep, a verbal agreement is worth the paper it's written on Feb 13 '19 at 14:03
  • 4
    Ask how you apply for the position.
    – JeffUK
    Feb 13 '19 at 22:40

Should I approach them?

Yes, you have every right to ask your boss why they decided to seek out other candidates. Your boss also has the right to say "because I felt I needed to".

Do they have the right to do this?

Yep, they sure do.

So what do you do now? If the situation doesn't go your way I would suggest going about your day to day tasks as you normally do while looking for employment elsewhere. At this point how can you trust your employer to do what they say they will do?

My final point: Promises that are not in writing are worth next to nothing. Next time, get it in writing.

  • The senior management insisted that i should start first, the letter apparently is on the way. However after finding out they have also sought out other candidates, I am not sure anymore of the situation. No one has said anything and left me perplexed. Heard that they might discuss this with me again, not sure what else to discuss probably to break the news that I am not selected anymore.
    – Yaya
    Feb 13 '19 at 23:06

Are you sure this isn't the company just following a policy of opening up all positions for applications even when they have someone earmarked for the job?

I am not sure why companies do this, maybe it's to make it look like the process is transparent and fair. It might be that they just want to make 100% sure the desired candidate is perfect for the role and they couldn't do better.

Personally I wouldn't approach them. You've no proof of what they've told you and if it is a box ticking exercise before you're officially appointed, you flying off the handle is a bad look. What I would do is approach the manager if someone else is appointed to the role, at that stage you've got a reasonable case for asking about what went wrong.

If you're not appointed to the role then you'll just have to take the lesson to not agree to anything till you've got a contract in front of you. As others have said until you've got a written agreement you've got nothing.

  • 3
    By not taking action, one can't complain about the result. Asking what's going on is not unreasonable at all.
    – UKMonkey
    Feb 13 '19 at 17:52
  • Apparently they have opened up the ad for external hirers first, once the candidates are deemend unsuitable, they have offered me the role. But later found out that they opened it again to external and have gone around asking other internal staff for the same exact role.
    – Yaya
    Feb 13 '19 at 23:10
  • @UKMonkey I didn't say it was unreasonable to ask. I would personally not ask, I would treat it like any other job interview at that stage. The time to get a written commitment (the only type worth having) was when the initial 'offer' was made. I would find it unlikely now they've invited applications they'll give him a written commitment the job is his.
    – Dustybin80
    Feb 14 '19 at 9:31
  • Waiting until they've hired someone to find out what happened is way too late in this process for the OP to do anything about it. Talk to management now and find out what's going on. There may have been a miscommunication between management and HR about this post; or there might be something the OP can tell management to get them to not look at outside candidates and get the job.
    – NotMe
    Feb 15 '19 at 2:55
  • @NotMe The process has already started and it isn't going to stop, is it likely they're going to cancel the scheduled interviews and directly appoint the OP? Either they are performing some due process before rubber stamping him (very common in some of the companies i've been involved in) in the role, or they've decided to look for other candidates for whatever reason. I think what you're suggesting is a very unlikely scenario and chasing round complaining is going to make the OP look bad.
    – Dustybin80
    Feb 15 '19 at 12:13

They have the right to do anything within legal bounds unfortunately; unless they put it down into a contract and both parties signed and agreed to it, I'm not sure there's much you can do (that is productive).

As far as approaching them, you can, but you should do it tactfully, and not run in there angry, upset or demanding.

Maybe there's a different plan for you now. My advice is to go in and get a feel for what happened and see what's available for you.

Don't burn any bridges or make any enemies yet.


I should clarify that by seeing what's available for you is either other opportunities within the firm you'd be interested (get it in writing this time!) or other opportunities outside the firm.

  • Thanks 😊. They told me to start first, the letter "should be on its' way". Haha. I guess im bit naive. I have moved on just thought that they shouldnt be stringing me along for an ingenuine offer.
    – Yaya
    Feb 13 '19 at 23:11

You can approach them but since they did not put anything in writing it is the same as if they had said nothing to you. This situation should be a red flag that senior management in your company is either untrustworthy or indecisive. In the future, do not accept any offers that are not in writing. If they verbally speak to you, follow up with an email and ensure that they respond confirming what they said. This way, at least you have actual evidence of what was said.

  • You are right. I have actually asked them for the letter once i have confirmed and accepted the offer. Which they said "sure we will get HR to get that done". But few weeks after silent and found out about the other candidates.
    – Yaya
    Feb 13 '19 at 23:17

You should absolutely approach them. Update your resume and start sending it out as well.

This is raising more red flags than a Chinese military parade.

EITHER the company has been lying to you this whole time, OR they are lying to the people they are inviting to apply.

Regardless of which, your company is staffed by liars, so you simply cannot trust them, and while they certainly have the right to do this, you have the right, and the responsibility to yourself to look after your own interests.

Approach them by all means, but understand that you cannot trust a word that they say. Even if you get the position, you know that they can't be trusted, so until this trust is rebuilt, you should be ready to move on at a moment's notice.

  • I feel the same way. The trust has already been broken. I would always be on my toes if whether they will honour their words again once the 6mths are lapse (if i do get the role)
    – Yaya
    Feb 13 '19 at 23:14

Company is being dishonest with you and it's just the start. Find a new company and immediately Leave the current company, plain and simple.

  • 2
    I honestly do not want to go on the rage-quit path, currently the "drama" is slowly being unfold so by me leaving abruptly might leave some bad remarks, I would think, no? thanks for the advise though. 😊
    – Yaya
    Feb 14 '19 at 15:05
  • You will regret! :) Remember my words, it came from experience! :) Be ready to experience many such incidents in future in the same company!
    – user18840
    Feb 14 '19 at 15:51
  • Thanks @anonymous. Every word that came out from their mouths seems untrustworthy now. I will take some time to think but finding a new company seems like the better option now.
    – Yaya
    Feb 16 '19 at 12:56
  • @yaya told you man! :)
    – user18840
    Feb 17 '19 at 3:06
  • Thanks man 😊 everything's awkward now they keep asking me if i am "okay".
    – Yaya
    Feb 17 '19 at 10:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .