Company A extended me a job offer verbally two days ago (Monday). They promised to provide me a written job offer letter to review and consult with my parents, but they failed to do so because they're waiting for a start date from their client. What I received from Company A is only a list of pre-employment requirements and it doesn't state anything about job offers.

I have also a job interview the next day (Tuesday) with Company B and passed the exam. On that same day, Company B also extended a job offer and I much preferred to work with Company B, so I accepted it. The time was end-of-business of Company B when I accepted the job offer.

The next day (Wednesday), Company A called me to come over to their office and sign the contract on that same day. I then informed Company A that I have already accepted a job offer, since I was already waiting for Company A's job letter for me to respond within one day, and he also said that they called me yesterday (Tuesday) where in fact they haven't.

Now, Company A told me that they will add me to the blacklisted applicants since I did not inform them immediately if I did not sign the contract on that day. I do admit my mistake of not informing them ASAP. In the end, I didn't proceed to the contract signing and turned down the job offer.

My concern is, will it affect my next employer's application status? Do I really need to worry about its damaging costs in my career?

  • 63
    Relax. By next week this recruiter will have forgotten about you. By next year the recruiter you talked to will be working somewhere else. In five years this recruiting company will in all likelihood no longer exist. You're fine. To give a personal example: 28 years ago I accepted a job offer, then retracted my acceptance when my employer countered with a better offer. The recruiter got pissed and said, "You'll never get another job in this town!". Since then I've been unemployed exactly zero days. That was five jobs ago. :-) Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 18:42
  • 32
    Yeah you quite literally have two companies competing over your skillset. You'll be fine. Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 18:58
  • 7
    It's important to remember - recruiters get paid a bounty based on your salary. It's a pretty hefty whack too - it varies by industry, but when I last looked 30% of your annual salary was the sort of ballpark. But obviously - only if you accept the job and last 6 months. So they tend to get quite pushy if you 'let them down' because you've just cost them a load of money. That same 'load of money' will mean it's very unlikely they'll refuse to do business with you in future though.
    – Sobrique
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 9:57
  • 1
    @Sobrique: back in the day it was 1% of salary for ever $1000 of salary. So for placing someone in a $10,000 job the recruiter would get $1000. For placing someone in a $50,000 job the recruiter would get $25,000. For placing someone in a $100K job the recruiter would get $100K. Not sure if this is still the rule or not. Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 12:11
  • 1
    The website is run by ICO (Information Commissioner's Office), a UK government agency that has the job of protecting citizens from violations of data protection violations. You can't have a website more legal than that. The ICO found a company which effectively maintained a shared blacklist for the UK construction industry, which is totally illegal. They are trying to identify people on that blacklist and inform them so these people can take legal action against the construction industry.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 22:26

4 Answers 4


Firstly, it won't affect your application to other unrelated companies - it's on their personnel files, not some centralized system.

Second, it sounds like you've dodged the bullet - anyone willing to bully and threaten a candidate for their own personal decision isn't worth working for. They wouldn't have hesitated to hire someone else who they considered better/cheaper than you, why on earth should you be tied to them from the second they make a non-binding verbal offer?

Personally I'd still apply to that company in future if you need a job and want to work for them - chances are you aren't blacklisted anyway, and if you are you've only wasted the price of one printed resume.

If it's a recruitment agency, simply use another in future - they need candidates more than candidates need them... most likely the job will be advertised elsewhere anyway, or you can see the post on their website and apply direct.

  • 33
    "you've dodged a bullet", and then "i'd still apply ... in the future". seriously? don't look back. your first point is the more valid one.
    – Octopus
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 16:46
  • 6
    He's dodged the bullet for now as he has another better offer - situations change, and I do specify 'if you need a job and want to work for them' - it's about balancing working for someone like that, with paying the bills
    – Jon Story
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 16:48
  • 3
    Yeah, when the man-baby with his big bad imaginary blacklist gets dumped in the near future, there might be no reason not to apply for a job with Company A.
    – MGOwen
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 6:03
  • 2
    The bottom line is this is a totally empty threat - one which I have made myself, and had made against me as well. Companies do not maintain black-lists. They just don't. In some places it's illegal.
    – Jasmine
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 16:22
  • 2
    It is done, despite being bad business. I'm not denying that it's a bad idea or that a lot of the time it's an empty threat, but it is done
    – Jon Story
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 16:53

If it is a recruitment firm then you will not be blacklisted. They make their money by finding people accepting jobs. If they have a job, and you are the right applicant, will they say "we will ask ju-chan to do the job and get our commission" or will they say "no, we don't want that commission because we blacklisted ju-chan"? Of course they will take the commission.

A verbal offer isn't worth the paper it is written on. When you were at company B, you had the choice of accepting their offer and have a job you prefer, or to reject it for a verbal offer from A, which was not in writing, so A could have dropped your offer, and you would have had nothing. What you did was exactly the right thing.

Even if you hadn't had accepted B's offer yet, it is quite possible that you hadn't accepted A's offer or at least you would have delayed accepting it until you heard from B.

All that is really happening is that a lowly employee at a recruitment company is angry about losing their commission, which is none of your concern - that employee doesn't deserve the commission because they didn't find the job that you have been accepting. And because that lowly employee is angry, they are lashing out. Which is unprofessional, and probably against the guidelines of the recruitment company he or she is working for. That recruitment company will gladly find you another job some time in the future when you are looking for a new job, with better qualifications than today, with a higher salary than today, and therefore a bigger commission for them than today.

The lowly employee lost a commission and therefore tried to make you feel bad. You could always take revenge by writing to his supervisor and asking whether you are indeed blacklisted; I bet that will get him into trouble.

  • 1
    Well said gnasher729. I was not really sure of the blacklisting part. I do hope this may not hurt anything for my future employments beside the fault in my part.
    – Ju-chan
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 10:38
  • 3
    I cannot see any fault in your part actually. Your only obligation in the job market is towards yourself. Even with a contract in hand, B may go bankrupt tomorrow, you may discover on your first working day that B is not the kind of company you want to work for, so it's just wise to keep open your options. A recruiter who doesn't understand this is just childish.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 16:06
  • 4
    +1 for "a verbal offer isn't worth the paper it is written on", that made me laugh!
    – Alexander
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 10:32

To answer your unasked question: you did nothing wrong here. That the first company happened to call you before you had a chance to call them to withdraw is hardly your fault, especially considering that not even a day had passed.

Company A never actually made you an offer, they just said they'd make you one soon. If you had stayed in the running you likely wouldn't even see their offer until you saw the actual contract, at which point they'd expect you to sign it. This is a crappy tactic but is still used by some companies. You would likely have received an equal amount of abuse for requesting time to consider after seeing the contract and refusing to sign on the spot.

Caveat: legitimate companies can rush candidates through the process in cases like these were a project is nearing its start date. But this is more common for short-term employment or contract work and the reason is that HR or whoever handles the legal aspects is still processing the offer. If that were the case however you'd already have discussed most of the (preliminary) details with the recruiting manager. When that is not the case, consider this to be a big red flag.

As the other answers mention, the blacklisting they threatened you with is limited to that company. That they suggested doing so as punishment if you didn't renege on an accepted(!) offer and accept their unknown offer instead is another huge red flag.

  • How about blacklisting me through spreading word on other people or posting something on LinkedIn?
    – Ju-chan
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 14:46
  • 1
    If your sector is very small then your reputation is a legitimate concern. However, given that you didn't actually do anything wrong in this situation it's highly unlikely that the recruiter would spread the word so to speak. Badmouthing his own candidates (even if they were at fault) will generally reflect worse on the recruiter than on the candidates.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 15:03
  • I see... I hope it goes well.
    – Ju-chan
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 15:47
  • Kindly clarify what do you mean by "If your sector is very small then your reputation is a legitimate concern."
    – Ju-chan
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 17:47
  • This is just the obvious thing: If your line of work is something very rare, then everybody working in it in your town will know and gossip about everybody else. In such a situation reputation is important. But even then it doesn't sound like you should be worried. Just stop worrying.
    – user30002
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 7:59

How big is the company? If it's one of a few zillion employers of similar size, then you'll just have to apply to that other zillion in the future. They don't seem a good employer to work for, because if they are that generous with threats with you when you're just an applicant, I don't think that it's going to get any better once you start working for them.

Stay well away from companies where the management manages by making threats.

  • I believe the company is a recruitment firm which deploys applicants to different clients. I may be unprofessional to decline to a "verbal" job offer wherein the start date is the next day after the signing of contract, but I'm worrying of its effects.
    – Ju-chan
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 9:43
  • 5
    @Ju-chan In particular, stay away from companies that use the "sign or else" tactic on you. You just told me that it's a recruitment firm but if it's one in a zillion, why obsess about its threats? Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 9:49
  • 1
    Agree on that. I was just being worried of any implications for my next employer. You've made a good point there. I would love to hear other people's opinions too!
    – Ju-chan
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 9:51
  • 3
    Just put Company A on YOUR blacklist and never accept any jobs from them.
    – Agent_L
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 13:54

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