employer says candidates must accept the job if it’s offered

A reader writes:

I recently was referred to a job posting by a friend in my industry. While I am happily employed, it was definitely something I would consider. However, the posting ended with the line, “It is understood that any candidate applying for a full-time position will accept employment. Please do not apply if you do not plan to accept full-time employment, should it be offered.”

I know they obviously can’t hold candidates to that, and I will give them that they are completely transparent about the exact salary in the job posting. However, they also say that full benefits will only be discussed after the offer has been made. Moreover, this would not be a local position for me, or for most applicants at the level they are seeking, and I obviously can’t commit to moving my family across the country before even interviewing.

Just how big of a red flag is this line? Am I reading too much into things, or is this the mark of an employer with a warped view of power?

It’s a big red flag.

It says, “We think you should be willing to accept the job based solely on what’s in this ad, with no consideration of what you learn about the position, the company, the manager, or the team during the interview, and regardless of what salary and benefits we offer you.”

Which is obviously absurd and not how this works.

Any time you interview for a job, you are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you. This would be like if you applied for jobs with a cover letter reading, “Please do not invite me to interview if you do not plan to offer me full-time employment.” Employers would immediately throw out your application, and rightly so. You would also look bizarrely out-of-touch and delusional and, again, rightly so.

That said, the specific wording they used and their emphasis on “full-time” makes me wonder if this is less about “you will accept whatever we offer and like it” and more about trying to ward off people who apply for the job and then try to negotiate for part-time. But if so, the way to handle it is to stress in the job posting that the role is full-time and cannot be made part-time.

I also wonder if it’s a reaction to candidates ghosting them on offers, as has been happening more and more. But this wording would be an odd response to that since someone who ghosts on an offer isn’t less likely to do it just because an ad warned them not to.

Plus, what’s up with “full benefits will only be discussed after the offer has been made”? That’s a weird thing to say in normal circumstances, and it’s especially ridiculous in the context of “you had better commit to taking this offer when you apply.”

So: big red flag, and something over there is indeed warped.

{ 314 comments… read them below }

  1. Anastasia Beaverhousen*

    This is one of those companies who is complaining that they can’t hire anyone due to unemployment payments during the pandemic. They have little to no insight as to how their own behavior is playing a role in the dysfunction that is likely happening in their business.

    1. PT*

      NoBoDy WaNtS tO wOrK aNyMoRe!

      Job: $7.25 an hour, we are hiring for just one 4 hour shift, you might possibly get more shifts later if they open up (but we can’t guarantee anything.) But you will be on call (unpaid, of course), keep your schedule open in case we need you so you can pick up more hours!

      1. Anastasia Beaverhousen*

        Also a lot of these places post that they are hiring but are not hiring anyone who applies. Then they cry that they don’t have enough staff because they are trying to reduce the outgoing costs of employee salaries.

        1. I've Escaped Cubicle Land*

          Anastasia Beaverhousen I came here to say the same thing. I’ve seen several posts and articles about companies saying they can’t find employees with people saying they applied there and never got an interview. 1 company was called out on in interview stating different hours and pay then the add for that position had applied for.

          1. Rusty Shackelford*

            I saw a post from someone who said they applied to several of these companies. One advertised $10/hr, but offered $8 and said “you’ll get $10 when the minimum wage goes up to $10 later this year.” Another advertised full time, but in the interview disclosed that you’d get 20 hours/week until you had completed a 3-month probation period. {rolls my eyes so hard}

            1. Rainy*

              I’d LOVE to see the receipts on how many people actually successfully complete that 3 month probation period.

              This is like that thing where some employers in fields where a free or very cheap “trial period” is customary (bartending, chefs, etc) will just line up shift after shift or week after week of professionals used to working essentially for free for a few days or a week before getting an offer, only to…just never hire anyone permanently.

              1. Third or Nothing!*

                My husband encountered several of those as a welder in Texas. Always got laid off right after his probationary period ended despite glowing reviews from management and peers. Management was always mad as hell to see him go but their hands were tied.

                1. Rainy*

                  Yeah, I had a job when I was much younger at a restaurant where the manager would randomly fire people when he was coked up, and it was only a few years ago that I realized that the people who got “randomly” fired were all about to reach the benchmark where the policy was that if you stayed X number of months you automatically got a raise. It didn’t happen a lot to servers, who made 2.25/hr and tips regardless, but most of us hourly folks got a dollar lift if we made it 9 months, and basically everyone got fired right as they got to their 9 month mark.

                2. MissBaudelaire*

                  An old friend of mine used to do this circuit of all these factory jobs in the area. Because after 90 days, right when that probationary periods were over, he’d get laid off, but welcome to apply again after six months or something. He knew many people who did this, bouncing between all of them.

            2. Cj*

              McDonald’s has a great big sign when you go through the drive-thru $15 hours. Then you see the small print at the window and it is $9 – $16. Maybe the lower rate is for high school students (minimum wage in my state is already $10.08 if you’re over 18), the the GREAT BIG SIGN is still misleading.

        2. Starbuck*

          Yep, it’s a tactic to get the public to blame poor customer service due to intentionally low staffing on workers being lazy, rather than employers being stingy. Don’t fall for it! I have friends in retail and food service (and in management too) and bare-minimum staff hours budgets were a thing long before COVID.

          1. MissBaudelaire*

            Yeah, even before the plague, I remember my fast food job cutting the floor to preserve hours. It isn’t news.

      2. MissBaudelaire*

        No kidding. There are signs up all over town for people desperate to hire.

        Only they don’t actually bring you in to interview. Or they do, and it’s all the ape s*it ball pit. No set schedule, no full time, demands to sit at home and stare at your phone so they can all you in at the drop of a hat. Like, sure people want to work–for a living wage for a sane schedule?

        1. Up and Away*

          I’m hiring for $20-22/hr warehouse positions, M-F, 7-3:30, OT if desired. Full benefits package. Long term company (been in business for 30 years). I call almost every person that applies. Most of them no-show the interview. My experience is not matching what I’m reading here.

            1. Yep*

              Yes, Google your company name and see if there are only reviews on Yelp, Glassdoor or Indeed that may deter people. I’ve never ghosted an interview, but I’ve certainly declined to interview if I see a red flag along the way. Also, if there are red flags that come up about the interview process itself, I’m likely to rescind my application before we all waste our time. There may be something in the process that makes the job seeker think the cost-benefit is not worth their time.

            2. Anonyme*

              Amazon warehouses & fulfillment centers are a customer of my firm (trying to be vague here) and the view I get of them even having them as a client makes it super clear why it’s not a good place to work. And I’m definitely not the only person who knows this.

            3. JB*

              I’m betting they’re hiring for Amazon AND not stating that up-front in the ad.

              Of course people are ghosting once they find out it’s an Amazon warehouse.

          1. Stitching Away*

            Congrats. Is that actually a living wage for your area? And do people who would be applying for this position have better options?

            My suspicion is that honest answers to those two questions will explain why you are getting no shows.

          2. Testerbert*

            Off the top of my head: what do you mean by ‘full benefits package’? I’ve heard many a horror story of how a ‘full benefits package’ actually means ‘worst possible health insurance coverage, no sick leave, no holidays’.
            How accessible is your warehouse? 7am starts are all well and good, but if public transport isn’t running/doesn’t exist those without cars can’t reach you. Likewise, you are expecting your workers to get up at 6am at the very latest to be able to get to you on time, which isn’t exactly friendly if they’ve got family commitments.

    2. AKchic*

      The grocery store near my house is hiring. Their signs say “up to $20/hr”. Of course, the “$20/hr” is in giant letters, the rest, teeny tiny. Every person I know who applies gets offered minimum wage, even the experienced applicants. To get even $1 more an hour, they have to be at least 30 years old or have a college degree. To be a cashier in a supermarket. And not even get full time hours. From experience, I know that the $20/hr offer will only be made to an experienced shift/department manager or higher.

      1. CBB*

        At that point they might as well just put in the CEO’s compensation “Up to $1.4 billion per year!”

      2. MissBaudelaire*

        My favorite are the places here that only give part time hours and kick and scream when people get second jobs so they don’t have completely open availability anymore.

        Hire people full time. Try that. See what happens.

          1. WS*

            People do this in countries where benefits are not related to your job, too. Why not have 10 people fighting over 5 full-time workers’ amount of shifts, they’re always going to be available, aren’t they? What do you mean they got another job?

        1. Extra Anon for This*

          My boss has been on a tirade recently about “You knew what hours we were open when you were hired, so how can you not be available??!!??!11eleventy!” Because it’s a &$%@!# *part-time* job; you are not paying us to sit by the phone all the hours the place is open. I am holding firm on my stated availability, but I fear some of my colleagues are getting bullied into being effectively on-call.

          1. MissBaudelaire*

            Some of your coworkers are being bullied into on call.

            It sucks because part time is great. I know people that part time works fantastic for them. But availability isn’t a polite suggestion or a ball park for a lot of people. I manage at my job, and a lot of my team has school. They can’t (and should not!) skip classes they pay a lot of money for to cover shifts.

            I don’t know about your job. I remember at my OldJob when I laid out my availability there was a good chance I was going to get nagged and pestered and bugged to “please make it work just this one time!” But if I made it work the one time it would happen the next time the schedule was out… and the next… and the next… I told my boss if he wanted me full time, hire me full time. He never did.

        1. Windchime*

          My son works in a grocery store. He is a journey-man level union employee and only makes $21 an hour, which sounds good unless you know that he lives in the Seattle area and rent is $1200/month (and that’s a steal for this area). People made a lot of noise about grocery workers being “essential” during the beginning of the pandemic (and they are), but they sure don’t pay him like he’s essential. He works ever-changing schedules but it’s rare to get 40 hours, much less overtime. He can’t get a second job due to the ever-changing schedules. I would hate to see how they treated him if he was NOT essential.

          1. une autre Cassandra*

            The scheduling insecurity really is the most aggravating part of that kind of job. I might have stayed in retail or security if it was possible to just HAVE A REGULAR SCHEDULE for either but it was like they went out of their way to make it impossible to have a life around your work schedule. (Low pay is probably worse overall, but I personally found the ever-changing schedules more stressful day-to-day)

            1. Bilateralrope*

              That’s what I don’t get. To me, it seems that giving employees regular predictable shifts has enough benefits for the business that screwing them around with unpredictability makes no sense when the hours the employee needs them to cover are predictable.

              I work security. My roster is 4 on, 4 off for a specific client. My employer likes knowing that I’ll plan my life around that. The client likes knowing that they have regular guards working on their site, instead of randoms who don’t even know their way around the building.

              Then there are the extra shifts. They are unpredictable due to the nature of security work, so there is no way to give people a regular schedule for them. So it sucks for the people who are only in a casual position, and most of them do want to move into a full time position when one opens up.

              Retail doesn’t seem as unpredictable. So why does it seem worse at screwing workers around with unpredictable work ?

              1. Stopgap*

                Unpredictable schedules make it hard to get a second job. If the employees get a second job, they’ll be less dependent on their first one. A second job could give them enough financial wiggle-room that they won’t put up with mistreatment at their first job.

              2. pancakes*

                It’s called just-in-time scheduling. There’s software that makes it possible, and it’s illegal in some places because of the terrible position it puts workers in. I’ll link to a couple articles about it in a follow-up reply.

                1. snack queen*

                  When I worked for Home Depot they implemented a new scheduling system that automatically generated our schedules. It was set to change our shifts based on store traffic data – down to the :15!! So in a week I would have start times like: M 11:15-8:15, T 11:30-8:30, W – Off, TH 10:45-6:45, F- Off, S 9:45-6:45, SU 10-7. (of course we had to work every weekend and rarely got 2 days off in a row.) I was lucky to be a kitchen designer so I worked the middle of the day – some people would end up with a “clopen” – 2-11pm then back 6-3 the next day.

                  On top of this, there was a point system for clocking in late and eventually you’d get written up/fired. It was nearly impossible to remember your schedule for the week and SO HARD to get there right on time as you never fell into a routine for the commute. One of many reasons I no longer work there.

                2. pancakes*

                  That sounds like a ridiculously worker-unfriendly schedule, snack queen! It is so important to have a day off each week, or should be. Most people are not going to be at their best working every single day.

              3. LinuxSystemsGuy*

                Everything above me is true, though I’d like to think that not every retail/service employer is an asshole trying to make you dependent on them. One of the biggest problems is that employers schedule so leanly.

                For very simple math, let’s imagine a store that is open 8:00-8:00 seven days a week, and needs one employee on the floor at all times, except Friday and Saturday nights, when it’s busy and they need two employees. Our brilliant retail manager realizes that awesomely he has a perfect setup here. He has precisely 16x six hour shifts, so he hires four people to work 4x six hour shifts a week. They each get 24 hours a week, and his scheduling is a dream.

                Until the first time someone needs time off. Now suddenly he needs to cover a shift, and he only has 3 people to draw from. One of them *has* to come in. Then suddenly someone needs a *week* off, now he has to cover *four* shifts from three people. Worse, if he gives all four to the same person, or even two people, he has to pay *overtime*. Why won’t these people just cooperate and work almost, but not quite full time this week?

                Now realistically it’s not as crazy as my very easy math example, but that’s basically what retail and service managers often try to do. What’s the bare minimum number of employees I can have, working the bare minimum number of hours I can give them? Okay I’ll do that, then act surprised when people can’t be available to cover a shift or help with unexpected surges.

                1. pancakes*

                  I can see how software would be really, really helpful for working out people’s requests for time off, but we know for a fact it is also being used to maximize every possible cent of profit for employers. We also know for a fact it is in really wide use. From the last article:

                  “University of California Berkeley researchers in The Shift Project found a third of the workers they surveyed at the nation’s largest retail and food service companies had less than a week’s notice of schedules, the hours varying on average 32% from week to week.

                  Half the workers said they had no input, and a third said they were asked, before the employer decided. And 10% said they’d had a shift canceled on short notice in the past month, while one-fourth worked on-call shifts that might not result in pay.

                  The pandemic has exacerbated the practice, but it was already common, particularly in the hospitality and retail industries where 1 in 5 workers are employed.”

    3. MissDisplaced*

      That’s it for some of them, for sure! And their “jobs” would actually cost you money to work there.

      My hubs was looking for a technician job. So many are like:
      >> 10+ years experience in Thing X, Thing Y, and Thing Z
      >> Must have A or B Certifications for Things X, Y, and Z
      >> Requires own tools and reliable truck
      >> Must be able to drive within and 100 mile radius for service calls
      >> Requires own insurance: both contractor and vehicle
      >> Requires you pay for your own mobile phone, which they want to install software on
      >> No gas allowance, no overtime pay, no benefits, paid holidays, or PTO
      >> Pay is a whopping $12/hour

      But…. WaHHHHHHH!!!! People are so lazy and don’t want to work because they’d rather live off the GOV-ern-ment!!!!!!

      1. Stitching Away*

        I used to work for a company that wanted to think it was super progressive, but then when I pointed out that they wanted to require temp, low payed workers to provide their own mac laptops, and that was a really outrageous requirement that expected them to have a base level of wealth, they said, well, yes, but it’s pratical for us.

      2. LemonLime*

        I’ve been trying to get my hiring managers to realize that is why we can’t get applicants for our part time work. We are out of the city , around a 30 minute drive away. Now that’s not unreasonable but with gas prices and minimum pay and only 20 hours a week—. Why spend 1/4 of your weekly salary on gas when likely there’s plenty of part time places in town . Also you’re spending at least an hour every day on commute so again working 20- spending 25 and oh if you have kids, getting back into town on time at the end of the day is difficult to say the least. All this and no benefits. It’s a real puzzler why the applicant pool is so scant.

  2. What in the world?*

    I have to wonder, what kind of recourse do they think they have if someone turns them down?

    1. Lab Boss*

      That’s what I was thinking. And especially since someone turning them down is now (by definition) NOT their employee, they can’t even unofficially make their life miserable. It begins and ends with “we expected you to take the job!” “Yes, you did.”

        1. Lab Boss*

          That would be a wild move. I’m sure they could screw a few candidates who rejected offers, but in any field with ANY kind of grapevine word of that is going to spread like wildfire and they’ll be radioactive.

          1. Nanani*

            Why would unemployment care?
            If the job isn’t suitable, they don’t force you to take it, last I heard. The requirements (I know this varies by location) are usually about applying to jobs that are comparable to what you’re qualified for, usually what you did before you went on unemployment.
            If a company put full time in the ad but is actually only giving part time, or doesn’t give needed benefits, or something like that, alerting the authorities would be worse for them than for you wouldn’t it?

            1. quill*

              Whether or not the retaliation is effective doesn’t necessarily make a difference to those who dish out petty retaliation.

        2. Anonymouse*

          Joke’s on them because I’m unemployed because of COVID! Mwa ha ha ha… ha… hah. *sigh*

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        That’s what I was thinking.

        I was thinking that as well. How are you going to enforce this rule?

        1. banoffee pie*

          They won’t think well of you. Oh well, who cares. I’d be more worried about them telling your current job you were looking to leave.

      2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I suspect they are doomed to lots of “you failed my expectations as an applicant.”

    2. irene adler*

      I was thinking the very same thing!

      Sure, they probably won’t be willing to hire someone who has previously turned down an offer of employment from them. There are other companies out there.

      But legal action against any job candidate who turns them down? If they think that’s viable, they are nuts. Do they trash the name of the candidate? That might not end well for them.

    3. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      Report it to the Unemployment Office maybe if they think that people are applying simply to satisfy a requirement? But also, shouldn’t the offer INCLUDE all of the benefits package? I guess what they COULD mean is that any offer is take it or leave it and there isn’t any room to negotiate at all. I wonder if these jobs are aimed at a certain group that have less negotiating power to begin with — like grad students or some subsidized work-study program or something.

    4. Super Duper*

      They will be very, very annoyed! Haha. Sounds like an employer that’s been burned and is totally overreacting in a counterproductive way, because it’s going to alienate candidates (like LW) but not prevent the behavior they’re mad about.

    5. MissBaudelaire*

      This was my thought. If I refuse, what are you gonna do about it? You can’t force me to work for you. Throw away my resume, mark me not eligible for hire? Okay, I guess.

    6. Kevin Sours*

      You see attempts to weaponize people’s basic decency against them in a lot of contexts — and it does unfortunately work. Subconsciously the “this offer isn’t everything I want, but I agreed to it” can nudge behavior. And guilt tripping can work as well. People want to do the right thing even when they are being taken advantage of.

      Plus some people may be less aware of the ineffectual nature of any threats than those of us who lurk on these forums.

      1. Zelda*

        “this offer isn’t everything I want, but I agreed to it”

        Yeah, that’s how I ended up married once.

    7. Madame X*

      Maybe they intend to blacklist any candidate that turns down their offer? If that is the case, it would be counterproductive because they would be reducing their pool of potentially great employees.

      1. Kevin Sours*

        Best case scenario, they’re frustrated over people interviewing without much intention and are overreacting in a stupid and ineffectual way. Worst case, they intend to browbeat people into accepting a subpar offer and scaring off candidates that won’t be susceptible to that approach is a feature not a bug.

    8. Hippo-nony-potomus*

      Depending on the size of the company, put that employee on a no-hire list for the future.

    9. Alpacas Are Not Dairy Animals*

      You get a black mark on your permanent record, the same one that’s been following you since kindergarten.

      1. KTB1*

        “I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record”
        “Oh yeah?”
        “Well don’t get so distressed. Did I happen to mention that I’m impressed?”
        The Violent Femmes still aren’t wrong

    10. Can't Come Up With A Fake Name*

      I don’t think they mean “you will take the job, whether you want it or not.” I think it’s just a really really badly worded “please don’t apply unless you’re serious.” Which is not great, and certainly is a red flag, but at least slightly better.

  3. Lacey*

    Not being willing to talk about benefits till after an offer has been made is so weird. The only time that’s happened to me, they essentially offered me the job on the spot. Which, I know is also sometimes considered a red flag, but it’s honestly the best job I’ve ever had.

    1. Lab Boss*

      I gather from a ton of time spent here that a lot of workplaces treat it as “bad” to talk about salary and/or benefits before the offer stage, because it shows the candidate is a disloyal mercenary who works for food and shelter and not for their erotic dedication to producing sprockets. Without the other giant red flag I can see that part of it as just conforming to a weird, hopefully-soon-obsolete hiring convention.

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        Well, when you put it that way, I feel a sudden inexplicable urge to change careers and go into sprocket production. I don’t care about the salary!

      2. LabTechNoMore*

        Because it shows the candidate is a disloyal mercenary who works for food and shelter and not for their erotic dedication to producing sprockets.

        This is glorious, and deserves whichever literary prize it is that we award for well-written internet comments.

    2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      “Congratulations! You’re hired. You start on Monday. The medical has a $1,000 deductible for individual and $5,000 for families of 4 or more. It does not cover reproductive treatments or medication. We don’t offer dental or optical.”
      Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t afford that.
      “I said, you start on Monday.”

      1. LemonLime*

        “You get a whole 5 days for annual leave, though 3 of those are flex days for Sick leave should you get sick. But don’t call in sick on Mondays or Fridays without two days notice because we’re very busy those days. Also we need you to bank roll any travel expenses and then file for reimbursements which will promptly be paid within a month.”
        “I’m not sure…..”

    3. CBB*

      I’m guessing their benefits are abysmally bad. Hence why they have a problem with candidates noping out after receiving an offer.

      I made the mistake with my current job of not asking about benefits while interviewing. I had already accepted the offer when I realized I would have to change doctors. I would have accepted anyway, but it would have been with more hesitance.

    4. PT*

      I don’t think I’ve ever had a job that gave out benefits information until after you’re hired. “We offer full medical, dental, and vision.” Is all I ever got.

      1. ThatGirl*

        I’ve actually had a few companies – mostly big ones – offer me a full packet of their benefits info, the same as you would get as a new hire, usually in a second-round interview. It’s nice to see it all laid out, I wish every place did it.

        1. Environmental Compliance*


          My current place gave me this full packet with complete breakdowns of what’s covered, what’s not, and what’s the cost. Places before that gave me more of an informational sheet of “employee cost is this, family cost is this”, etc.

          1. Been there, done that*

            I’m in HR and we provide this information to anyone who requests it after making it through the initial screening process. And we are completely forthcoming about salary as well and whether there is or isn’t any room for negotiation. Our health insurance is quite good and is very affordable for single coverage but once you start adding dependents, it increases by a lot. I’m not going to waste my time nor someone else’s if that is going to be a dealbreaker. And of course the ideal situation would be for us to provide cheaper insurance but due to things outside of our control, including the part of the country we are in, we offer the best we are able in this screwed up healthcare system.

      2. Sleepless KJ*

        Every company I’ve interviewed with seriously (even when I worked part time holiday shifts at Macys) has given me a packet or at least an information sheet outlining their benefits. I would never accept a job offer without knowing what the benefits package was.

      3. LabTechNoMore*

        I’ve usually had to push back after getting offers with no mention of what the benefits are. One particularly bad company that explicitly stated they wouldn’t provide benefit info until the offer is accepted (which, surprise, turned out to be a nightmare to work for). But usually they’ll fold after telling them that you’ll need to get more information on the benefits before you’re able to make a decision, and keep asking followup questions if their answers are too vauge.

        1. Amaranth*

          I love the ones that say ‘oh you get full benefits….’ Then just leave it there. Dude, that could mean a box of bandaids on my desk once a quarter.

      4. Blackcat*

        I’ve found there’s basically always a sheet with a benefits summary. Often there’s a number to call for the health insurance to do things like check if particular providers are in-network.

        I have also been grateful dealing with union jobs. For those, all you have to do is Google.

      5. marvin the paranoid android*

        Union jobs are really great for this. The full benefit package is publicly available (as well as the salaries) so you can look everything up before you even apply for the job if you want to.

        1. Why Do I Go To Extremes?*

          Federal jobs as well frequently have full pay and benefit information available. It’s part of transparency since it’s funded by taxpayers.

      6. MCMonkeyBean*

        I agree, although I also have not usually thought to ask. I don’t think it’s super uncommon to wait until extending an offer before getting into it at a detailed level. I do think that any company who does that should be prepared for someone to see the benefits and then have additional salary requirements though! When companies wait to share benefits and then are surprised when it changes something on the applicant’s end I think that’s when they are unreasonable.

  4. KHB*

    It’s very weird that they’re listing the salary in the ad but being cagey about the benefits. You’d think benefits would be more likely to be standardized for everyone across the company, and therefore less likely to be treated as a state secret. I can only conclude that the reason they don’t want to be upfront about the benefits is that they’re atrociously bad.

      1. Need More Sunshine*

        At least with health benefits, there’s an easy out here – employers are not supposed to allow negotiating different benefits because it gets discriminatory really quickly. Obviously there are ways around this (like negotiating being in a higher “class” of employees and thus getting the better benefits, if the company has different classes et up), but it’s an easy out if you (as the employer) don’t want to negotiate on these things. “Per non-discrimination compliance rules, we can’t offer you cheaper benefits than stated here.”

        With perquisites, those could be negotiated, but I’d expect those types of benefits only with higher positions anyway.

    1. Roja*

      My cynical mind wonders if the company makes the offer, “requires” you to accept it, and only then discloses the benefits because they are indeed atrociously bad, and the company is tired of candidates turning down the offer once benefits are revealed.

      1. Nea*

        I wouldn’t be surprised. An employer once enticed me with “vision healthcare coverage” only to reveal, after I had signed on, that they meant “A coupon to Hour Eyes.”

        Seriously, that was the vision plan. And they mentioned that sometimes Hour Eyes had better sales than the coupon deal anyway.

          1. Usagi*

            A previous place I worked listed “regular company-provided massages” or something along those lines.

            It was just the receptionist giving massages when people asked.

            Also she was really bad at it (not that it’s fair to expect that she’d be good at it, but still). I only know because during like my first or second week the director for my department told her to give me a massage. I felt too “newbie” to refuse the director, and was too polite to say anything to the receptionist.

            1. Toads, Beetles, Bats*

              Your understated tone nearly masks the COMPLETELY BANANAPANTS THING YOUR COMPANY WAS DOING THERE. There are 877 ways that can go wrong and no way that can go right.

              1. Usagi*

                I tried bringing it up to a manager (not my own, he was very much into the massages, but another manager who I felt was more level-headed) but apparently she had already talked to her about but the receptionist actually enjoyed it. I don’t know all the details but based on my interactions with her I think she really liked the attention, which is… not great?

            2. pancakes*

              Oh no, no, no! NO. That is terrible. And somehow reminds me of this really screwy health food store that was in my neighborhood for a while. The vibes there made a lot more sense after I met a guy who knew one of the women who worked there from their hometown, and it turned out everyone who worked there was in some sort of cult-y commune that lived upstairs and made DMT in the bathtub. They sold really incredible goat cheese with edible flower petals from upstate NY and I was a bit sad when the shop closed a year or so later!

              1. Usagi*

                Oh man that’s pretty terrible! Bummer about the cheese though! It’s hard to find a place with good cheese where I live, at least without paying an arm and a leg.

        1. NotAnotherManager!*

          I don’t know whether to be flames-on-my-face angry about this or to laugh so hard I cry – maybe both?

          My vision insurance is my most-used benefit. Everyone in my house has glasses, and one of us has a chronic eye-related issue that required years of constant monitoring and treatment to mitigate. I pay nothing for an annual exam and get a generous frame/lens allowance. I’d probably jump across a conference room table at someone who offered me a coupon as my “vision care benefit”.

          1. PT*

            I can do you one worse.

            We have insurance through my husband’s work. His health insurance, under Ophthalmology, says NO BENEFIT, SEPARATE VISION INSURANCE. But if you go to our vision insurance, it only covers optometry/opticians at chain eyeglass stores, who are not MDs and can only treat limited conditions of the eye.

            So if God forbid you get an eye injury or eye condition that requires an ER visit or surgery or something like that, more involved than glasses or eyedrops…tough noogies, you’re not covered and you’re paying out of pocket.

            1. doreen*

              Is that from the insurance company or your husband’s employer? Because it’s just insane if actual health insurance doesn’t cover an ophthalmologist – but it’s easy enough to imagine someone at your husband’s employer who doesn’t know the difference between an ophthalmologist/optometrist/optician.

              1. Clisby*

                Yeah, that sounds nuts. My insurance (before I retired) and my husband’s covers ophthalmology, eye surgery, and the like. It’s going to cover my cataract surgery and lens implants. The only real benefit we ever got from a vision plan was paying for glasses, and for me a pair of glasses a year is pretty negligible compared to the other eye care I get.

              2. Why Do I Go To Extremes?*

                Agreeing here – ophthalmology is covered under my health insurance and normal vision screening and the most basic of retina/macula health evaluations are covered by my vision coverage.

                (But I figured this out by actually reading the coverage details in my policies, and not everybody is good at reading and comprehending those details – lots of legal and complex medical terms. Why can’t we have coverage detail explanations in basic English?)

              3. NotAnotherManager!*

                Agree – our vision covers eye exams and glasses, but our health covers pinkeye, amblyopia treatment, scratched corneas, and a few other unfortunate things I know about first-hand. The ophthalmologist keeps both vision and medical on file and bills the appropriate one based on the reason for the visit.

            2. Cmdrshpard*

              Yes Im with doreen i would check directly with the insurance.

              My heath insurance company has an option for vision benefits to cover things like an annual eye exam, glasses, contacts etc. But we don’t have it because use a separate insurance company to cover that.

              But i also need certain eye health check ups through an MD and that is covered by my regular health insurance, not the general vision package.

              Someone might have confused the types of coverage.

              1. calonkat*

                Agreed with the above. I used to visit an opthamologist for treatment for a medical issue (“stick a needle in my eye” is not just a phrase anymore and yes, I do know how much my vision is worth to me).

                The opthamologist visits were covered under my medical insurance, the regular optometrist visits (which did include them keeping an eye on what the opthamologist was doing) and glasses were covered under my vision insurance.

              2. Dawbs*

                Yeah-i had sub-par vision coverage when i worked at last job and the (reasonably good) health insurance covered my co- workers eye exams (because they were diabetic and it was considered medical) and my kid’s (because we needed a pediatric ophthalmologist and was also deemed medical)

                Because there’s a possibility of my kid’s eye issue causing issues again, it’s still covered under medical (only her glasses go through vision insurance)

            3. Blackcat*

              Yeah, echoing others to actually call. I’ve had insurance that basically says “your eyes are not covered at all, ever” in the benefits summary, but has happily dealt with claims from my ophthalmologist without complaint. My ophthalmologist is even listed on the website as in-network.
              It’s weird, but my eyes (which are f-ed up) are definitely covered by my health insurance. No glasses coverage, but I’ve never paid for getting needles poked in my eye (thank goodness because needle in the eye is traumatic enough without paying out of pocket).

            4. AdequateAdmin*

              My insurance previously was exactly the opposite: no optometry/opticians, but there was a weird loophole where they covered doctor-doctors and specialists, so they covered if we went to ophthalmologist under said loophole.

              1. pancakes*

                Yes, same here. Eyes would only be covered if I had some sort of injury to them. This was incredibly expensive insurance with Oscar. Fortunately it wasn’t terribly expensive, locally, to get a decent eye exam and update the prescription for my contacts.

            5. Hannah Lee*

              The whole segregation of health or medical care =/= dental care =/= eyecare =/= mental health care in the US health care and insurance system is bizarre. And it can lead to people falling into a black hole where whatever is going on in their body kind of straddles a couple of different areas where each flavor of insurance can back away saying “not me Bob!”

              For example, TMJ/orthopedic issues leading to teeth grinding, pain, other dysfunctions. Does a PCP address that? Or a dentist? what about if the TMJ issues have a stress/mental health component underlying them? Who treats what or who manages the overall care plan. What if an employer offers “health insurance” but their dental plan only covers routine preventative care?

              People only have one body, it’s bizarre to me that in the US, different entities are financially responsible depending on where in the body a health issue may be happening. It’s not that there are different care providers, because obviously specialists are often necessary for quality care. It’s that BCBS or Partners or whoever can haul up the drawbridge at eyes and mouths. It would be like having to have separate property insurance coverage for your roof, main living space and driveway, with none of the insurance companies willing to wade in to address issues with stairways and entrances.

      2. Andie Begins*

        Yeah, my immediate thought was that the benefits are GARBAGE, they know it, and they know it’s getting in the way of hiring the candidates they offer jobs to.

        1. Hannah Lee*

          And they’d are willfully avoiding the obvious solution …. which is to HAVE BETTER BENEFITS!

      3. ThatGirl*

        In 2017 I was lucky enough to get two offers within a day or so of each other. Company A sent me a full packet outlining benefits before I even got to the offer stage, with deductibles and premiums listed. Company B sent me a letter that said “yep, we have health insurance.” (That was the gist of it, anyway.)

        That wasn’t the ONLY reason I went with company A, but it sure helped make the decision.

      4. Momma Bear*

        My thought as well. I can easily imagine the benefits being horrible (do they even tell you how much PTO in the offer letter?) and rather than fix the root cause they are trying to Band-Aid the symptom. I would run far far away from this job listing – insisting you take a job you haven’t even discussed yet? What other unreasonable things would they do?

    2. Mental Lentil*

      Benefits are a free toothbrush once a year and TWO donuts on the last Friday of the month.

        1. Public Sector Manager*

          Are apple fritters and cinnamon rolls classified as donuts under their plan? It makes a difference!

          1. Someguy*

            Well, if you are at a sufficiently high level that you qualify for chairs with armrests or wooden desk caddies, sure. But not to start. And it is fairly closely policed.

          2. LemonLime*

            We’re moving into pastry terriotory and frankly, I don’t think this salary band covers such things….

          3. Hannah Lee*

            Are apple fritters and cinnamon rolls classified as donuts under their plan? It makes a difference!

            It depends?
            Are you front-line hourly workers?
            Or C-Suite executives on eligible for the company’s Concierge Carbohydrate Coverage plan?

        2. willow for now*

          And you can use that toothbrush right after you eat those donuts. THAT’S good dental hygiene right there!

      1. Carol the happy elf*

        Which you can wire together like glasses, and use dollar store magnifying glasses for lenses. You’ll have the benefit of having people wanting to get close enough for you to see them!
        Voila! Vision plan AND dating opportunities.

    3. Starbuck*

      Yeah, probably something crappy like 5 days PTO to start. My sister sadly has worked multiple places like that. I miss seeing her!

    4. Why Do I Go To Extremes?*

      This strikes me as either the benefits are atrocious or the employee contributions to the benefits make the salary not competitive anymore.
      Even if the benefits are standard for the industry/area it feels fishy not being upfront about them the way they are with salary.

  5. Librarian of SHIELD*

    When I come across a really unusual rule like this one, I like to play a game. What may have happened in the past to make this organization think this rule was necessary? I’m guessing it springs from a string of situations where the company’s preferred candidate turned down their offer. Now, while a reasonable and healthy organization would start to wonder why so many people were turning down offers and see what they could do to make themselves more appealing to candidates, an unreasonable and unhealthy organization will make a rule like this.

    Do not apply, do not pass go, do not collect $200. This company announced in their own job posting that they are not reasonable, and I would be astonished if job postings were the only weird thing they do.

    1. Lab Boss*

      Which raises the question, is it better to have your preferred candidate quietly turn you down? Or for half of your would-be preferred candidates to never apply, and the other half to laugh right in your face when you tell them they’re obligated to accept an offer?

      1. Greg*

        It hurts to find a great candidate, offer them a job, and have them laugh at you over how terrible the package is. Putting up an ad that scares off everyone competent lets you complain about how nobody wants to work anymore, and is much easier on the ego.

        1. Canadian Valkyrie.*

          Why wouldn’t you just get a decent employment package then? If people literally laugh in your face or are otherwise not ok about the employment package, then there’s more effectual ways to deal with that (eg if you know this is more of an entry level salary and stuff, tailor the job description as such, or, you know, list the details on the job posting so people are making an informed decision etc). I get it: I work in social services, people are severely under compensated all the time. There just seem to be a lot of ways to address poor compensation without seeming like a maniac or a nightmare to work for

        2. Nanani*

          If you want to complain more than you want to actually find those good candiates, sure.

          Funny how “its a free market!” justifies atrocious conditions but never the opposite.

        1. Why Do I Go To Extremes?*

          At the very least this approach removes anybody with a robust sense of themselves and their worth. So you get to have an office full of “Bobs” instead.

    2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      I think exactly that.
      I think first they learned they can’t get quality candidates TO the offer stage with their benefits package, so they stopped talking about it. Then, when they make an offer, it’s oh, btw here’s our benefits package. 10 hours of combined sick/vacation PTO for the first five years, five holidays and obscene medical deductible.
      and any candidate with options nopes out with, “sorry, I have better benefits where I am. No thanks.”
      So they are trying to find people with fewer/no options.
      “If we offer it, you must take it,” will be overlooked by desperate people thinking, “dang, just offer it already.”

      1. Why Do I Go To Extremes?*

        Sadly probably true. Wonder how many people bolt in under a year when they have at least some income and are no longer desperate though? This approach sure isn’t causing an excess of loyalty.

    3. Not really*

      It might be interesting to apply and see what’s up, if the salary is acceptable. And see what they do if you decline? They have no standing to do anything…

    4. AnotherLibrarian*

      One thing I would say here is that as someone who works at an institution that regularly had finalists turn down offers, it is not always something the institution can change. We know people decline our offers, because our university is in a rural location which very few amenities and with a high cost of living and a high level of isolation. None of this will change, so we just deal with a high rate of failed searches, declined offers and, occasionally, odd quitting stories. About five years ago, one candidate came to the town, saw the town, and skipped the interview to take the next flight home. Some people have proposed putting language like this in our job ads, but it has never been done, because of all the reasons others have stated. However, during interviews, we do try to emphasize that people can and should drop out of the pool early if they don’t think they want to live here. Sadly, few do, so we are left getting declined a lot.

      1. Black Horse Dancing*

        I don’t understand why people aren’t checking out the area on the web. How do they see X university in town of 7000 and think ‘Wow, bet there are five golf clubs, eight gaming shops, six Starbucks. and 40 restaurants.”

        1. New Jack Karyn*

          My guess is that they don’t know what that means when you actually see it. Or they think, “Oh, it’s small, but it’s a college town so it’s probably got more going on than many small towns,” and maybe it does, but not by that much.
          Or maybe they see, “75,000 people,” and think of a suburb which has that population but has tons of stuff–but in this case that number is everyone in a 25-mile radius.

        2. AnotherLibrarian*

          This is a question we all ask ourselves every time we hire. I think the basic reality is that applying for a job, even being flown up for the interview, it all feels hypothetical. But once you start considering a spouse and their employment, or your desire to only enroll your kids in a private school, or you hobby of ballroom dancing, the reality of the limitations really hit.

      2. Splendid Colors*

        This sounds exactly like my last university. My advisor liked to talk shop and was on several search committees while I was in his lab. Although our COL was lower than the urban areas of the state, it still gave people from other states sticker shock. To make matters worse, their internal process for ranking candidates after the interview was sooo sloooowwww that a lot of people had already accepted other offers by the time we got around to making an offer.

  6. Tim C.*

    I can only think they have had too many candidates interested in part-time work and they only want to interview those interested in a full-time position? They did word it in a strange way though. Then again maybe I am giving them too much credit.

    1. Cally R*

      Yeah, that’s what I was wondering. They could have worded it better, but if no-part-time is totally non-negotiable, it does save everyone time to explain that in the posting

    2. Momma Bear*

      That is a very generous read, IMO. If it is clear it is a FT job, then there shouldn’t be any surprise to people. I think they are having trouble with getting people past the offer stage for other reasons and are trying to force it.

      1. tamarack and fireweed*

        I’m imagining someone who is angry – maybe rightfully, maybe not – about being blown off by a candidate or three at the offer stage, and sits down and pens this addendum to the ad steaming of wrath…

      2. iglwif*

        I mean, I have definitely had people ask to work part-time in what was clearly posted as a full-time job before, and seem surprised when I said, nope, we need someone in this job full-time.

    3. CBB*

      After re-reading it, I agree that’s likely what they meant. But you have to squint and turn your head sideways to get that meaning out of that sentence.

      Regardless, it’s an ominous sign: either they have an unreasonable expectation, or they’re incapable of writing a coherent sentence.

    4. Kiwiii*

      This is also what I was thinking, but it doesn’t make it not off putting. Tbh, I’d probably send HR and/or the hiring folks a question about it if i got an interview.

    5. Greige*

      I read it that way, too. They don’t want people who would only accept PT to apply. Terrible wording, though.

    6. Liz T*

      I thought that too, but the weird part about the benefits makes me think that, no, they really are trying to enforce a commitment up-front.

    7. tamarack and fireweed*

      Yah, no… If this is in an occupation where jobs would be normally expected to be full-time except explicitly advertised as part-time, then this is a huge red flag. If this is in an occupation where the majority/a large part of the workforce is part-time in many places, then I could imagine it. But still, it’s a weird formulation! Rather than “Please note that we are only considering full-time associates for this position at this time. Applicants seeking part-time work will not be considered.”

    8. agnes*

      This is how I read it as well–that it’s a full time job and can’t be made part time– though it is poorly worded.

  7. The Prettiest Curse*

    I have a feeling that the full benefits cover maybe the cost of one Tylenol tablet a year, if you’re lucky. Plus you get federal holidays and that’s your lot, you ungrateful peasant!

    1. Carol the happy elf*

      Oh, come on, they at LEAST have a box of band aids from the 1990’s, in the back of a filing cabinet on the loading dock. Look in the third drawer down, behind the used playboys, under Mike’s stash of halloween candy from 2019. Most of the band aids will still stick if you get a paper cut from the fax machine paper….

    2. irene adler*

      Hey, that’s more benefits than a job I was offered a few years ago:
      -accrue 5 days vacation per year. No increase to that rate after working there a few years. You were allowed to use this for jury duty, if called to serve. Otherwise, no compensation for serving jury duty.

      -no health care benefits whatsoever.

      -no sick leave. (can’t recall exactly. It may have been the legal minimum of 3 days per year.)

      -6 paid holidays (New Years Day, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day)

      They had me name a salary PRIOR to telling me anything about the benefits. Nor would they answer any questions regarding what benefits they offered. until I did.

      1. MissBaudelaire*


        -A map to the local Rite Aid
        – A letter from someone’s aunt offering to sell you some of her essential oils.
        – One expired coupon for DayQuil

      2. Artemesia*

        A place a student of mine applied to claimed they had access to health insurance; what they meant was they paid so poorly that employees could qualify for ‘Tenncare’ the medicaid plus program Tennessee had when they were still pretending to try to be a state interested in the wellbeing of citizens.

    3. mcfizzle*

      Tylenol? That’s name brand! There must be a “generic equivalent” they could use instead. I mean, gotta save $ where they can!

      1. Carol the happy elf*

        Kirkland? Or Member’s Mark at one of those freebie vending machines that my husband always checks, to see if there’s a snack? (Seriously, he got a packet of three little dog biscuits once, and neglected to check the label. They were “bland, but probably had lots of fiber.” I keep him around because like other people’s toddlers, he’s free entertainment.) Anyway, those little free-osks often have packets of Tylenol or Aleve.
        Maybe the company can send everybody who has a Sam’s or a Costco card over to get some freebies? If it’s a long walk, that can be part of their Wellness Initiative?
        On lunch hour, off the clock?

  8. DataGirl*

    Sounds to me like the benefits or some other aspect of the job are pretty crappy, and therefore everyone they’ve offered the job to has said no thanks. Instead of reevaluating the job/package, they are getting mad at people who don’t want to accept bad working conditions.

    1. Canadian Valkyrie.*

      This! I mean, if your salary and benefits suck… what do you expect? I see this in social services a lot though tbh. Like people expect you to accept bad hours, low pay, and no benefits (eg no vacation time, you don’t get paid for stat holidays) and be happy cause you “love the work”. Like, sure, I love my job, but when loads of places are willing to compensate me well, I’m going to skip the 50% that offer mediocre to bad compensation.

  9. KHB*

    If you have a lot of time on your hands, you could start bombarding the hiring manager with questions, to see what happens. “I’m interested in this position, but from the ad alone, I can’t commit to accepting an offer. I need to know more about X, Y, Z, A, B, C, P, D, and Q” – basically, everything you’d want to ask if you already had an offer and were trying to decide whether to accept it.

    1. Dezzi*

      Oh, I’d go further than that–how could one *possibly* be willing to accept an offer without knowing what brand of staples they use or exactly what shade the carpets are?

  10. House Tyrell*

    I work in higher education which already has a wacky, long, and convoluted hiring process at any institution. There was once a job I didn’t apply to that would have been a great match in a city I loved because in the job posting they said any candidate who turned down an offer would have to reimburse the school for any costs associated with interviewing them (which for this role, by the offer stage, would have involved flying to and from the state at least 2 times and staying in a hotel multiple nights because the first in person interview was 1 day and the second was 3 days and in theory there could be more.) That’s a normal application process for these higher ed roles pre-covid but making candidates who turn down an offer reimburse them was a huge turn off for me. I have a friend who works at that university and the role was filled by someone from out of state since it was a national search, so it wasn’t a weird way to only get local applicants.

    1. Rusty Shackelford*

      When I worked in higher ed, you had to pay for your own interview-related travel (unless you were important enough, I suppose) but you’d get reimbursed. If you were offered the job and turned it down, you would not get reimbursed.

      1. House Tyrell*

        Almost no one I know pays for their own interview-related travel. We turn in gas receipts if you drive more than X many miles or the university books your plane for you and sends the tickets. The campuses I’ve interacted with most have you stay on campus in an apartment or dorm they keep available for these interviews or other campus guests or they also book your hotel for you. I know a few campuses who make you pay for everything or certain aspects of the travel but I don’t know anyone from my income level who applies to work there because we can’t afford to pay out of pocket for an interview, even if we might get reimbursed later.

        I know there are a lot of benefits to the on campus interview processes for higher ed, but I hope that after Covid we conduct more of the interview process virtually.

        1. Blackcat*

          When I did the faculty job market thing, it was a mixed bag of having me front the costs and getting reimbursed or having them cover it. For one job, with $900 in airfare, I had to wait 12 weeks to get reimbursed. I was ABD at the time! If I didn’t have a higher earning spouse, floating that level of cost would have been a major burden.

          For the international searches, they always paid everything after checking flights with me. But domestically, it was 50/50 if the university would book airfare or expect me to and file for reimbursement. Oddly, all directly paid for the hotel, even if I had to buy my own airfare.

      2. AnotherLibrarian*

        That’s interesting, because I have interviewed for over a dozen positions in Higher Ed and never seen this. I’ve flown across the country on short notice on flights that were over 5,000 dollars and never been asked to reimburse the institution. If this was a condition of the interview, I would turn it down in a heartbeat.

    2. lost academic*

      How would they have even done that? Made you pay for it upfront and then refused to reimburse?

      1. House Tyrell*

        Since I didn’t even apply because of their statement on paying them back, I’m not 100% sure. The way I understood their phrasing was that they would bill you? It was phrased something like “if you are extended an offer and do not accept, you will need to reimburse the University for the costs of the interview.”

        1. All the cats 4 me*

          And if you didn’t pay? What would they do? Talk trash about you to all the other universities for not paying them back? Surely the other uni would be horrified to hear how dysfunctional and underfunded original uni is?

          1. New Jack Karyn*

            They wouldn’t have to say why. “Really unprofessional.” “Did not follow through.” “Left us high and dry.”

  11. CatCat*

    Sounds needy and desperate. Imagine if this was a dating app :D. “It is understood that anyone asking me out on a date will accept marriage. Please do not ask me out if you do not plan to accept a marriage proposal, should it be offered.”

    1. Carol the happy elf*

      At least your dating app isn’t requiring a set number of gender-specific offspring- maybe if you don’t order dessert, they’d let you decide on couch cushions?

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        Children will only be discussed once the wedding is over. That is also when you meet the in-laws.

  12. CW*

    I never heard of this before. It is indeed a huge red flag. If I were you, I wouldn’t take this position. Sounds like they micromanage there at best.

  13. stephistication*

    For giggles I’d be tempted to apply with materials that say “Please do not invite me to interview if you do not plan to offer me full-time employment.”

    Return absurdness to sender. J/k…kind of but not really. OP can your friend shed some light on the culture at that company?

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      I think Alison did post an example of that. And we all thought, “who could think this was a valid thing?”
      Apparently that person started a company!

    2. LKW*

      I’d be more tempted to say “don’t invite me to the interview if the full benefits doesn’t include x,y,z”

    3. OP for this one*

      My friend who referred the position to me doesn’t work for the company, so no help there. I do know people who worked there a while ago, but it’s definitely had a significant turnover in management at the highest levels since they were there (and they have not heard not the best rumors since leaving). The language in the posting seemed so out of wack that I figured it was indicative of something untoward, but I also wanted to check with Alison to make sure I wasn’t overreacting.

  14. Bookworm*

    That’s weird and yeah, red flag. Closest thing I’ve experienced to this was being told I wouldn’t be interviewed/considered with a temp agency unless I was “free” (unemployed). It was weird because they didn’t explain that they were looking to hire and place people ASAP (as in, after an initial screening with the agency, they expected people to accept jobs by phone after placing a candidate). (Found this out the hard way.)

    Good to know, OP. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    1. CW*

      It would have only helped if there were clear from the start that they would need to hire someone ASAP. I don’t understand why some agencies and employers play this kind of mind game. It just wastes everyone’s time.

      1. Analytical Tree Hugger*

        Given the “maybe just weird wording” ad OP shared, I hope it’s okay for me to get into specific terminology. Instead of writing “free” or “ASAP” (as soon as possible), the temp agency should have written something more like “immediately available candidates.”

        ASAP is kindof standard, because as soon as possible means, “as soon as the candidate can finish their notice period”, “as soon as our hiring selection can be approved”, “as soon as the background check clears”, etc. Not too many candidates or companies are intentionally stretching out the hiring process (or so I would hope, but I accept I may be wrong).

    2. HoneyWest*

      I’ve worked temp a few times over the years. There is not an interview or regular hiring process for temp positions. That’s not the nature of temp work since the employer is merely looking for someone to fill in for a variety of reasons and often on short notice. And as the employee, you are looking to make some money right now (though temp placements sometimes result in a permanent offer.) Other than the upfront request that you be free (perhaps in response to people who haven’t been?) their placement process sounds perfectly normal.

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        Ehh… Depends. Some temp agencies do more long-term contracts, too.

        I know someone who applied to be a Kelly Girl back in the early 90s. There was a full interview with testing of typing & other office skills. (She was hired, then got a big raise at her current employer, so ended up staying.)

      2. pancakes*

        This really depends on the position. I’ve done some temp / contract attorney work and have indeed gone to firms for a full interview before being hired.

      3. Free Meerkats*

        FirstWife (may she RIP) was a professional temp for the last 5 years she was able to work. CurrentWife did it for a couple of years All four agencies they worked for had extensive hiring processes including interviews and skills testing to ensure they were getting professional admin people and not just people who couldn’t hold down a steady job.

        The places she worked didn’t do any interviewing, they just called the service and ordered one from column A. Their assignments ranged from a day, to a month, to “Please come work for us full-time.”

  15. MsGnomer*

    Why would they not discuss benefits until an offer was made? I was talking with a company last year, and they sent me their entire benefits package to look at after my initial phone call with HR. I hadn’t even applied for a position yet, let alone done a formal interview with the hiring manager. Transparency is a great sign in a company. The one in the OP is waving a giant red flag.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      Presumably because their benefits suck. If they can hornswoggle some poor sap into accepting the offer before learning how bad the benefits are, that is a clear win.

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          Maybe their benefits are SO amazing that people will accept a job just for the benefits. So they want to make sure you aren’t marrying them for the money, so to speak.

          (But probably not.)

          1. banoffee pie*

            Like in romance novels where one character pretends not to be rich to check if the other character *really* loves them!!

    2. CW*

      I heard of one lady where a pushy employer wanted her to accept right away or else they would retract it. Right after that, the employer told the lady they did not offer benefits. It did not end well.

      1. Usagi*

        Unlike most companies, you’ll never have to pay for insurance from us! Also, no being stressed/confused about your 401k plan, and you don’t have to worry about running out of PTO either!

    3. irene adler*

      They hope to get the candidate in at a lower salary.
      If a candidate knew there were few/no benefits, they would ask for higher pay to cover for the lack of benefits.

      I actually experienced this a few years ago. Interviewer asked me to cite a desired salary but would not detail the benefits package. They refused to budge until I named a figure. So I did.

      (and had pretty much dismissed them from consideration)

      Soon after I received a job offer. I asked about perusing the employee manual before accepting-which they begrudgingly gave me a copy.

      In there, I learned the benefits were abysmal.

      1. CW*

        My guess is a high premium health insurance plan, no dental, no vision, and no 401k? Of course, that is just my guess.

        But one thing we can all agree on is that subpar benefits is not a way to win new hires over.

  16. learnedthehardway*

    Perhaps this company is simply serving notice that if you accept a job and quit in a ridiculously short amount of time, they WILL fight your claim for unemployment benefits.

    In Canada, my spouse’s company has had a couple people start a job, then quit a week later and try to claim Unemployment benefits. This has entailed calls to the business from the gov’t agency to find out the circumstances under which the people left. My guess is that some employers feel that it is not worth the time to detail how the former employee is not eligible for Unemployment. My spouse has fielded 3 separate calls from the Unemployment office about one person, to ask about the circumstances of the job, why the person quit, what the company did to accommodate them (!! – they were there less than a week!), etc. etc. It ties up a lot of time to deal with this. And it’s infuriating for businesses that were left high and dry (the guy decided after his third shift that he didn’t like the work, leaving the business scrambling to cover the next day).

    1. Koala*

      … I don’t think there’s any information in the post that would even remotely point to your conclusion. If you want to post about your spouse’s experience with the Canadian unemployment office, that’s your prerogative but it doesn’t seem to be relevant to the posts you put it under?

  17. Pyanfar*

    Maybe what they are trying to do is ward off people who are only applying to get offers that they can then use to leverage their current company for a raise/promotion. Still, flag, color red, whipping in the breeze there!

  18. Oh No She Di'int*

    Could be a stretch, but in industries with a lot of freelancers, it’s not uncommon for a freelancer to interview for a full-time job with no intention of taking it as a full-time job, but instead hoping to turn the interview into a chance to sell the company on their freelance services. So they might just be trying to say “no freelancers”. It would be somewhat weird wording for that, but that is a not-unheard of scenario that many hiring managers face.

    1. Alexis Rosay*

      I’ve personally encountered the freelancers quite a bit when hiring, but it’s usually pretty obvious who they are—the ones whose personal consulting companies are plastered all over their resumes and they don’t really explain why they want the job. I find them pretty easy to weed out.

    2. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      Interesting, I’m very tempted to add a “no freelancing, no free consultant” note to my LinkedIn profile. You want me to work for you? Cool, hire me first.

  19. Lucy Snowe*

    I’m not gonna lie, I think Alison has the wrong read on this one. I’ve seen this kind of wording a lot while applying for jobs, and it’s pretty much always “the job is full-time, not part-time, please don’t waste your/our time if you are specifically looking for a part-time position.”

    I know Alison mentioned that my take on it was a possibility, but it’s really SO much more likely to be the case than a “evil corporation trying to lock people into accepting job offers” sort of situation, which seems to be the bulk of the response.

    The benefits thing is annoying, but so common that I don’t think it’s really a red flag.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        +1. And if that’s how they word things that are very important to them, no wonder they’re having problems with people trying to negotiate their non-negotiables.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        Agree – it seems like just saying, “Unfortunately, we are not able to consider part-time work for this position.” or something similar would more directly address that concern, if that’s what they’re after. The way it’s worded definitely implies that you’re committing to take the job simply by interviewing, while Crazytown, Inc. gets to decide whether or not to make you an offer.

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      I’ve read each group of comments. This is one of few that discusses part v full time. I don’t see a way to interpret
      “any candidate applying for a full-time position will accept employment”
      as “will not negotiate it into part-time position.” Maybe “will not negotiate free lance contracts…”
      But I still think they got burned by people turning down their offers after they’d cut everyone else loose and want to avoid it.
      Which they could do by giving MORE information at the beginning.

    2. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      This could be right, but then with a simple change, it would be much more clear, “It is understood that any candidate applying for a full-time position should be willing to accept full-time employment.”

      1. Lucy Snowe*

        Yeah- I’m not saying it’s not poorly written-it is! Lots of job listings are poorly written/unclear, and if I was the OP, I’d just ask the friend to clarify what’s going on.

        I get that it’s more interesting and fun for commenters here to run with the possibility that this company is horrible and full of evil bees or whatever, but it’s much more likely to be a bad writer who was told to put something about “full-time only” in the job description before sending it out.

        To be honest, I was a little disappointed when I read the actual letter- the title had me thinking the company was giving people a version of those forms you see at sleazy car dealerships where they try to lock you in to buying a car from them!

        1. ecnaseener*

          I think you’re one of the only people for whom this interpretation is so obvious. It’s not that it’s more fun to take the wording at face value, it’s just…face value.

    3. Kevin Sours*

      That was the first reaction. But the combo of “we expect you to take an offer if it’s made” combined with “we’ll only tell you the details about the offer after we’ve extended it” kicks me the other way. The best case scenario is that these people are tone deaf and don’t have a good handle on their hiring process. The worse case suggests that there is a reason they’re having trouble getting people to accept their offers and instead of addressing it they want to put the fault on the candidates.

      It’s definitely a red flag that anybody looking at this company needs to address as part of their process (and it goes without saying that the “you must accept the offer request” should be categorically ignored).

    4. Daffodilly*

      They said what they said, and what they said IS ridiculous. You are generous to assume they just meant something else and just worded it poorly.
      But generally when people say something, it’s what they mean. And since what they said is more “evil corporation trying to lock people into accepting job offers” that’s what people are going with.
      Truthfully I am more likely to assume that people mean what they say. To assume they mean something else means I’m likely to miss red flags.

    5. OP for this one*

      OP here… there’s almost no chance that any serious candidate for this position would think that it’s anything besides full-time. This is a six-figure, graduate-degree-required (Ph.D. preferred), competitive job posting. It cannot be done part-time, and any candidate who thinks it could is not qualified.

  20. pcake*

    Gotta talk about benefits – what if they have awful health insurance or it will cost you $600 more per every two weeks? What if they are only giving half the vacation pay you currently receive or don’t match your retirement contributions? These things could make a huge difference.

  21. zinzarin*

    I strongly encourage you to apply for this job, do your best to get an offer, and then send us an update about what happened when you declined the offer!

  22. Purple Cat*

    I feel like i’m in the minority and I’m willing to give the company leeway on this one.
    It doesn’t say you MUST accept an offer if one is made, if just says you PLAN TO accept.
    It probably stems from weeding through applicants that have no plans of returning to work, but are filling out applications to maintain unemployment insurance.

    The refusal to discuss benefits before an offer is annoying as heck, but that’s par for the course. And frankly better than companies that don’t proactively offer the benefit info with the initial offer.

    1. Nanani*

      But that doesn’t make sense. You can’t plan to accept an offer you know nothing about. The interview is FOR finding out whether you would accept.

      1. Kevin Sours*

        OP doesn’t know *nothing* about the offer. The job description is there. It sounds like the salary information was pretty robust. The idea of “plan to accept the offer if nothing negative comes up in the interview process” isn’t nonsense. It’s just… not a reasonable ask given the way job searches work.

        1. MCMonkeyBean*

          I really disagree. It’s not nearly enough information and having a disclaimer like that makes it seem as though they don’t understand that interviews are a two-way street. I would not want to work for an employer who thinks like that.

    2. Kevin Sours*

      I get what you are saying. It would be nice if people didn’t apply for jobs when they had no intention of accepting any offers. But by and large people don’t. The only typical exception where there is external pressure to apply for jobs such as unemployment requirements. The problem here isn’t the desire for people not to waste their time. The problem is that this clause is completely ineffectual. People being goaded to apply to anything aren’t going to lose their checks over it.

      And what does “planning to accept” really mean? If I expect an offer but haven’t gotten one from somebody else should I stop applying to other jobs because if I get it I’ll probably take it? That goes against pretty much all of the advice anybody is going to give you. If I’m only going to the take the job if the interview goes really well, is that planning to accept the offer? Is it reasonable to ask candidates to exclude themselves because they only sort of want the job?

      It’s… really not a good look for a company.

    3. Thursdaysgeek*

      When I was on unemployment, it was clear that not only did I have to apply to a certain number of positions each week, but I was not allowed to turn down a reasonable offer (so don’t apply to something that you’re not willing to take). I’m sure there would be exceptions to the requirement to accept a job, but not if the offer was reasonable.

      1. Kevin Sours*

        There is a certain “teaching a horse to sing” aspect in play. If you have to apply to a job *now* or lose your check the problem of what to do if you get an offer you don’t want is a tomorrow problem. Though this *also* pushes the perverse incentive to applying to a bunch of jobs you won’t be considered for because you don’t like the openings you are qualified for.

    4. Sea Anemone*

      Technically, I do plan to accept full time employment! Maybe not with them, specifically, but with some one! :)

    5. Observer*

      It doesn’t say you MUST accept an offer if one is made, if just says you PLAN TO accept.

      Not correct. The ad says It is understood that any candidate applying for a full-time position will accept employment.

      1. Tiffany Aching's imaginary friend*

        Correct but incomplete. It goes on to say “Please do not apply if you do not plan to accept full-time employment, should it be offered.”

        1. Observer*

          In the context of the first sentence, that means “Don’t apply if you’re not committed.” You simply cannot ignore the very clear statement when trying to get a reasonable read on the ad.

        2. MCMonkeyBean*

          That’s pretty much just the same sentence rearranged. I’m honestly curious what you think that sentence adds context-wise. “Will accept” is a slightly stronger version of “plan to” accept so adding on the latter doesn’t change how unreasonable the former is (but also even just “plan to” is highly unreasonable–obviously it doesn’t say “must” because that would not be enforceable…)

    6. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      OP commented it is a six figure job requiring a PhD, and very specific experience, so if they get applicants who are resuming bombing, they should be able to screen those out from the beginning.

  23. Nastya*

    It would be extremely funny to apply to this job and put in the cover letter “As your company has stated that they will not interview applicants who don’t intend to accept the position (regardless of what comes to light during the interview process), I expect that you will extend the same courtesy and will not interview any applicants you do not intend on offering a job to. To ensure that this interview process is equal, I hope that you’re only interviewing applicants you intend to offer a position to.”

    You probably shouldn’t do that, but it would be very funny.

    Seriously, though, these people have a very warped idea of the power dynamics at play here. They very obviously have no awareness of the fact that interviewing is a two-way street that also exists for candidates to decide if they actually want to work at the company.

  24. Raquel*

    I read this differently–to me, it sounds like the employer is only willing to entertain full-time employment for candidates, not part-time. They did word it strangely, though.

  25. Former HR Staffer*

    i would not even consider accepting a job offer without knowing how the benefits compare to a current job situation… am i losing half my PTO by jumping ship? will my medical insirance cost twice as much for comparable coverage? do they use a lesser known/accepted health insurance company? do they offer less of a 401k match? that all contributes to the comoensation package, and refusing to let you weigh your options until it’s too late is a huge red flag.

  26. Hippo-nony-potomus*

    An internet search for this exact language does not bring up anything but this post. I would guess that the LW changed it up just a bit for anonymity – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Perhaps it was worded slightly differently, which makes the freelancer issue more understandable. Perhaps the actual language was around on-site employment, which would be very understandable: a lot of companies are getting people who apply for on-site jobs, and, once they receive a job offer, try to negotiate it into permanent remote.

    1. Kimmy Schmidt*

      I found very similar wording for positions in both the St. Louis Symphony (Associate Principal Trombone Audition) and the Georgia Symphony Orchestra (Section Violin). It actually kinda makes more sense coming from a performing arts organization.

  27. I need cheesecake*

    Maybe the OP from the first ‘you may also like’ went a different way to how Alison advised…

  28. it_guy*

    I had one company get complete pi**ed off that I didn’t accept the offer because the salary was to low based on the mandatory overtime that wasn’t brought up in the initial interview. Something that somebody said made me ask clarification, and their attitude was ‘Yeah we have lots of overtime, but it’s not a big deal….”


    1. Ori*

      Advertising? I’ve heard that one third of advertising and marketing employees suffer from depression and anxiety and a lot of it is stealth overtime. I guess at least this person was honest about it…

    2. T J Juckson*

      I saw an ad recently that claimed the annual salary would work out to around $40K. The hourly salary was actually minimum wage ($15/hour), but required at least 45 hours a week, so at least 5 hours a week OT. At least they were upfront the levels of terribleness?

      This was for a finance-related job, requiring a BA, and 2 years experience.

      1. Salad Daisy*

        I recently saw an ad for a CPA which was paying $15/hr. McDonald’s around here pays $17/hr and you don’t need a degree or have to pass the CPA exam.

    3. MissDisplaced*

      I’ve done that several times. Some places actively try to hide the shitty benefits or “mandatory” overtime because if candidates knew, they negotiate a much higher salary or withdraw. If your company does that, don’t get pissed off when people reject your offer.

  29. Ori*

    Noooooo. There are so many jobs that I have declined once hearing the actual salary / benefits. There was one where the employer was really apologetic, but explained that the recruiter had straight up lied about the salary (it was 10k under what I’d been promised). To be clear as well, he wasn’t trying to put me off, he wanted to hire me but was clear that this recruiter had a tendency to get people in with wild promises and then hope they’d massively compromise.

      1. Ori*

        Apparently so. It was odd as well, because they were a relatively big and well established company. And I don’t fault the supervisor (who obviously I never worked with) – he was fuming. He just had no power to fix it. And I felt bad for him, because it was an out of hours interview at 7pm, so we had both wasted our personal time on a boondoggle.

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      I had a bad experience like that when I was unemployed; the hiring manager wondered why they sent me there as I was vastly overqualified ….. and the salary that they were going to offer was HALF of what the recruiter told me it paid.

      The manager apologized to me – and dumped that recruiter.

      1. Ori*

        Exactly that. I was a manager at the time and the man interviewing me was confused about why I’d been put forward for the role at all. It was an external recruiter and the guy was a charlatan.

  30. Elbie*

    What does your friend in the industry say about this place and the weird ad? For me, if I saw a job post like that, I would run. Fast.

  31. Panhandlerann*

    Maybe they have an internal candidate but were made to post the position externally and decided to make it unattractive.

    1. Kevin Sours*

      Nah. That’s when you get the “candidate must have 15 years of experience shearing brown spotted llamas with left handed shears working on alternate Tuesdays” in job listings.

      1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        That happens a lot in IS/IT; an employer posts an ad seeking , say, six years’ experience in a software package that has only been out in release for three. That way, they can disqualify anyone. THEN – they go to the offshore / H1B visa line, find someone whose resume says they have that six years experience.

        And they get the H1B visa approval “oh gee we can’t find any Americans with that experience”…..

        Ya, bull ca-ca

        1. Ori*

          I just saw a tweet from the guy who invented the software pointing out that he wouldn’t be able to apply for this CS job because they were asking for 4 years experience in the software he’d invented 18 months ago…

        2. Kevin Sours*

          There is that. But there I’ve also seen take the internal candidate resume and turn it into a job listing.

      2. Ori*

        Oh yeah. The classic example I saw of that was:

        Must have 4 years marketing experience, plus CSS. Video editing preferred. Second language preferred. Salary: £14,000.

        1. Kevin Sours*

          That’s a different kind of BS. If you ever see a weirdly and unnecessarily specific requirement on a job listing you can generally be assured that there is an internal candidate that meets that requirement beautifully

          1. Ori*

            Yep. The salary was not even remotely connected to the job spec. Even without the specialist skills, even in my low COL, low salaried area of the world, a second language would net you an £18k salary for a regular customer service job, even if you were straight out of high school.

        2. Canadian Valkyrie.*

          I see this in my field too, requiring 5+ years experience, a masters degree, specialized training, and then offering, like $18/hour or $35,000 or something. Like nah f**k you, I didn’t put myself through a masters and my very expensive training only to keep working jobs that are just as low wage no benefit toxic jobs I had before all that, not when I can make 4x that elsewhere. There’s loads of people for whom X and Y is their jam and they knew when getting their education that they’d be paid not great and the trade off was worth it to them. But, well, I’ve made $18/hour and you would not be able to have a car or any number or other “basic” comforts. Sure, it’s above the poverty line but it’s still nowhere near financially secure and comfortable. AND my point is really that I didn’t become a highly specialized professional to be paid like crap, it feels disrespectful AND if that’s what they want to pay me, what are they paying my imaginary colleagues who’s roles require fewer specialized skills? Like let’s say 100 people could do my job and 2,500 people could do the admin work…

  32. Akcipitrokulo*

    In some ways, it’s smart.

    It’s like scam emails that are so ridiculous, those that reply have self-selected to be more vulnerable and gullible.

    They are applying a self-selection filter at the very start so only people willing to be treated like garbage by their employer, whether due to self-esteem, desperation or otherwise, will apply.

    They want only those they can bully.

  33. MissDisplaced*

    Woa! Way to not get any candidates.
    It sounds to me as though they were trying to ward off people who wanted this to be a part-time or maybe remote job, but the wording is terrible and the impression is hostile from the start. Add that to the stated REFUSAL to discuss benefits until AFTER the offer has been made (an offer they basically say they also insist you accept if you’re offered it) is just plain crazy. I guess they mean they’re refusing any sort of candidate negotiation then? Really Weird! Very RED FLAG. If I read this, I wouldn’t bother to apply.

  34. Beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk-ox*

    The only job I ever had that was cagey about benefit information before accepting an offer had the worst benefits I’ve personally ever seen (that they tried to sell as “better than average”. I mean, give us crappy benefits, sure, but don’t gaslight us about them.). I’d wager to guess that their benefits are atrocious based on this odd combination of not wanting to share benefit information and expecting you to accept a job with no benefit information in hand.

    (Note to employers: some people quite literally work for the benefits. I have chronic health issues and I will never again accept a job without knowing about their health insurance plan. I need insurance the same way I need a paycheck. Just give people the info when they ask for it and save everyone a bunch of trouble.)

  35. StudentA*

    I doubt very much they’re saying “Don’t apply if you’re going to decline the job.” They can’t be literally staffed by clowns.

    They’re probably saying, “Don’t apply for the job, then later ask for part time instead of full time.”

    1. Observer*

      They can’t be literally staffed by clowns.

      You could be right. But is it more likely that they are staffed by people who can’t write a coherent sentence?

  36. Recruited Recruiter*

    I loved “trying to ward off people who apply for the job and then try to negotiate for part-time. But if so, the way to handle it is to stress in the job posting that the role is full-time and cannot be made part-time” – I’ve had to ward this off at my current job. The first time I posted here, I didn’t include anything, and I got a bunch of people asking about PT. I have to explain that no, you really can’t get off the truck halfway through the day, so no, we don’t allow part time.

    Now my postings include “this is a route based job, and all positions offered are full time.”

    1. Recruited Recruiter*

      Hit submit early.

      If I saw that comment, I would RUN! I worked at a non-profit that called the previous employer of people who rejected jobs. It just gives the organization a certain horrifying reputation.

  37. Mister Lady*

    I just interviewed for a job that was…basically my own job, which was ending (long story). The hiring manager called to let me know they were going to offer me the job, but that the actual offer letter would come in an email from HR, she didn’t have the exact salary etc info. Instead, someone from HR called me and asked if I accepted the job. I said “I’m sorry, I thought I would get an email that included the offer–including the salary and benefits.” She said “No, we only send that if you accept.” I was stunned. I’ve worked here for seven years, and it’s always been kinda wacky, but not BACKWARD.

    Maybe I’m crazy for accepting, so look for a letter from me in a few months entitled “Are these 47 red flags a bad sign??”

    1. Kevin Sours*

      I’m aware of a situation similar where they wanted people to verbally accept before sending the formal offer. But at least their they went over all of details of the job first. I’m pretty sure it had to do with politics around certain metrics in HR — perhaps concerning in itself but it didn’t impact the job any.

    2. MCMonkeyBean*

      Wow that is extremely absurd! If I understood correctly that you were accepting a job at a place where you were already working I can see why you went ahead and accepted it anyway (and if it turned out the salary was absurd it’s not like you couldn’t quit I guess) but man that is just wildly unreasonable of them. I hope they are better for you in other ways!

  38. Caspar the unprofessional ghost*

    If I had the qualifications for the job, I’d be tempted to apply with the express interest in ghosting them. Doing my small part of contributing chaos to the deserving.

  39. ForForksSake*

    Not sure if this has been mentioned above but my read of the situation would be that the applicant is aware that it is a fulltime (and not parttime) position they are applying for, and must be willing to accept that, i.e. must accept that it is a full time position and not try negotiate something different, rather than that they must accept the job.

  40. CouldntPickAUsername*

    “employer says candidates must accept the job if it’s offered”
    ok then if that’s true then employer must give raise if requested.

  41. anonymous73*

    In addition to everything Alisonsaid, who moves forward in an interview process having zero intention of following through if the job meets all of their needs/requirements? I know people apply without intention of moving forward. But if you’re taking the time to talk to at least the first person in the process, you’re not going into it thinking “haha I’ll get these jerks. I’ll string them along, make them love me and then decline their offer.”

    1. Kevin Sours*

      People being pushed by some sort of “job counselor” who has control over their unemployment checks.

      You also get people who are 95% sure they are going to accept another offer but are, understandably, continuing their job search until that’s 100%. I’m guessing a fair few employers would prefer these people not move forward but that’s just the way life is.

  42. Blondie08*

    I read this totally different and was surprised by Alison’s response. To me it read that it was a full time job and there is no negotiation for part time etc…and they have had issues with that in the past. Not so much no negotiation for offer. I am located in Australia so not sure where OP in from

  43. Brain the Brian*

    This doesn’t sound like it’s the situation here, but there *are* industries where letters of commitment might be required before the company can extend official employment. One such example is government contracting, where the government frequently includes a requirement that certain personnel designated as “key” in an RFP actually join the project — and if they don’t, the government will revoke the company’s contract. Many times, those same RFPs will also include a requirement that the company *not* plan to staff those very same “key” roles with current staff. So companies have to go recruit people whom they are literally not allowed to offer a job unless they win the contract, and then require those people to accept the offer if it comes. It’s a horrible, shitty requirement that the government can get away with because they’re the only player funding some industries. Sigh.

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