I received two job offers, accepted and signed the first contract that came through (was worried either job might fall through considering my previous experience with rescinded verbal offers). Now I'm regretting that decision, the recruiter for the other role does not know I signed the contract, I told him that I need to think through both offers. How should I back out of the signed contract? Another problem- both recruiters know the companies involved.

  • 1
    Just make sure you really want to do this, and aren't simply suffering a case of "buyer's remorse" and second-guessing yourself needlessly. Backing out after signing isn't great, but most contracts in most areas have a "cooling-down period" for exactly this sort of re-consideration. Backing out twice in rapid succession is much more likely to get you noticed as an annoying client. Yes, the recruiter will briefly hate you since you're taking money out of their pocket that they thought they'd already earned. They'll get over it. It's just part of what happens in their business.
    – keshlam
    Dec 3, 2014 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


Why does it matter that both recruiters know the companies involved?

To back out of a signed contract, you just say "I am backing out of a signed contract, sorry."

You don't need to tell them you are taking another offer, the offer you are taking, or any other details. The recruiter dealing with the contact that you are reneging will hate you, and will bad mouth you to everyone he or she can think of.

So whatever you do, do not tell them about the other contract, or the other company. If they call and are rude, just hang up. You owe them nothing.

You should check the contract (that you are reneging, but of course, check the other contract too!) for any odd pitfalls you might stumble into. Typically there isn't much anyone can do about you signing a contract then backing out (for workplace agreements). The notice period etc doesn't really matter as you are reneging on the entire contract.

They might try to scare you with a lawsuit (or, more likely, the threat of one) ~ I don't know where you are, but typically that kind of thing involves proving damages to the company in question. You are unlikely to have caused them any damages given you never started working there.

But to answer the unasked question "how can I make the recruiter/company that I am walking away from not totally hate me" - you cannot.

  • +1 good answer but if I were the hiring manager of the other company and the recruiter dealing with the contract that the OP is reneging, why would I care? I spend a lot of money and time to find a right candidate- that is OP. Even if OP is reneging- he's just reneging, not absconding a job altogether. Every company has a probation period anyways and if OP even left the other company after joining it and decided during probation that it's not a good fit, I'm fine with that! I would be watching out for that badmouthing recruiter though.
    – Rachcha
    Dec 3, 2014 at 3:28
  • @JoeStrazzere- That was helpful. I'm from India, so perhaps my comment was totally India-specific.
    – Rachcha
    Dec 4, 2014 at 4:32

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