Steps to Resolution: Talk About a Busy Weekend!
1. Is Company A's request that a decision be made within three days fair?
No. According to Principle #1 for employment professionals, employment professionals will refrain from any practice that improperly influences and affects job acceptances, and these practices may include undue time pressures for the acceptance of employment offers. Moreover, this issue was specifically addressed in the Principles Committee Position Paper on Reasonable Offer Deadlines. The document recommends that employers give students a minimum of three weeks to return a decision on a job offer, noting that the best employment decisions (for both students and employers) are those that are made with the greatest amount of information. Importantly, it is also noted that students given sufficient time are less likely to renege on job acceptances. Company A's deadline restricts Katherine's ability to gather more information about both Companies A and B. For example, she does not have an opportunity to confirm Company A's claims regarding six-figure salaries or to inquire of Company B when they will be returning a decision.
2. Under the circumstances, Katherine is tempted to accept Company A's offer even though she might later renege on it later. What advice would you give her? Would your advice be different if she were given three business days vs. three calendar days to make a decision?
Offer to assist Katherine by calling Company A and discussing the value of providing her with more time and referencing the NACE position paper, as well as the policy, if there is one, of the career services' office regarding offer timelines. Assist Katherine in comparing the two offers, given the limited information she has about them. Additionally, assist her in gathering further information quickly by contacting colleagues to determine if they have any experiences, good or bad, with Company A. With the additional time, you could assist her in gathering even more information.
3. Should the company be required to provide the student with more information regarding their claim of six-figure salaries by all employees within nine months of service?
Yes, Company A's claim is used as a selling point and it should, therefore, be documented so students have some way of verifying the claim.
4. What actions, if any, would you take with the company?
As noted above, offer to assist Katherine by contacting the company and discussing the situation with them. It is important to emphasize that even if she declines the offer, you should have this discussion with the company because their actions likely represent a recruiting practice and not an isolated incident. Therefore, without intervention, their actions will cause problems for other students and for other career centers.
Current as of February 2013.