I have a potential case of miscommunication by a recruiter which may have cost me my job offer. Though it also may be in part due to my stance.

I applied for a job at a much larger company at x salary (which matches my current salary). However after the interview process I was told the offer was 15% lower due to release of financials/budget restraints (the company admitted to the recruiter an error was made), however the company was "thinking of making an offer" at y salary.

At this point perhaps my naivety of never using a recruiter came into play - in the past I have only ever dealt with companies directly and usually received an e-mail with the offer and a full breakdown of benefits. So when the recruiter has said "thinking of making an offer" in my mind nothing is concrete until an e-mail is received.

So for the past week I have asked my recruiter to liaise with the company and see if there are any options to get closer to my current salary. There has been a forwards and back with little movement - I have been asked the lowest I could accept - my answer has been "in reality I think z amount is fair BUT please could you send me a detailed document of the package i.e. benefits etc so I can "do my due diligence and assess it as a whole". In fact I have asked 3 times for a breakdown of benefits from the recruiter with no success. The reason this is important to me is for two jobs I have had now the list of benefits has been longer and more detailed than just what was advertised - so it has made a difference in the past.

24 hours after this conversation I have had a call from the recruiter to say the offer has been withdrawn as it has been 7 days and due to the difference in salary expectations they need to move on. This has caught me off guard as I still haven't been able to assess the package as a whole and I was not aware that "thinking of making an offer" is a concrete statement. On my side all I have thought is a conversation has been taking place in the background and a final offer will be made so I can sit, think and make a decision.

What avenues are open to me? The recruiter is a lovely individual so going directly to the company behind her back doesn't feel right - but I do feel I have lost an opportunity without being able to do my due diligence or realising I am on the clock. Considering I have been in this process since December and each slow down has been on the company's side, to have the offer withdrawn in such a manner does hurt somewhat.

  • 17
    Be aware she did NOT handle this well and didn't communicate enough details with you. Use a different recruiter in the future. Nice isn't an excuse for incompetence.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


The job's gone, nothing you can do, move on. They didn't want to pay you want you wanted and weren't interested in spending more time on you to see if there was a fit.

The recruiter is a lovely individual so going directly to the company behind her back doesn't feel right

The company will not deal with you if you do anyway.

  • 3
    Yeah, don't go behind the recruiter's back, that would be very unprofessional. Once you work with a recruiter, it's basically an agreement that you will go through the recruiter for that company. Also be sure to avoid working with 2 recruiters for the same company, the company will typically just stop considering you because they don't want to deal with the hassle of figuring out which recruiter gets the referral fee. (US based answer) Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 17:52

You probably have no options. As they say, "sh*t happens". Of course, depending on where you are and the contract you are under (signed or implied by their terms of service) with the recruiter you may be able to sue them for compensation but that'd seriously sour your relation with them and likely get you blacklisted with many if not most recruitment firms operating in your area.

I've had a very similar situation years ago where a recruiter fell ill, a job offer for me arrived at his desk, nobody had been assigned as a backup for him, and by the time he got back several weeks later the offer had been retracted. We contacted the company and they put me on the top of the list for future openings, but by the time those appeared I'd already found another job I liked.

Just chalk it up to bad luck, and next time when you go into a recruitment process ask the companies you're interviewing with to CC you in any communications with recruiters involving your process, mentioning that you had such an experience in the past (without mentioning ever which specific recruitment firm was involved in that booboo).

Sadly many recruitment firms are what are referred to as "cowboys", and aren't all that professional in the way they handle things internally. This is just one side effect of that directly affecting customers (both candidates and companies), and many companies have themselves learned that lesson and will already contact the candidate as well as the recruiter when there is an offer being made or you're rejected.

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