Tuesday, September 15, 2009


One thing I can never understand is why some people have the penchant to negotiate AFTER a deal is done.

In the past week some candidates have come back to me after they have accepted our offers and asked me whether they will be getting “any other benefits” apart from the package they have just accepted. I know exactly what they were getting at. If it wasn’t an overture to a haggle, they would surely have waited until they start working where they will have all the time in the world to sift through the employee handbook.

A junior one started to tell me about some irrelevant personal predicament which I recognised as a prelude to “will I be getting additional allowance?” so I stopped him midway and asked him why on earth didn’t he ask this question before during the interview.

His reply was “oh then never mind lah, it’s ok”.

Which of course I knew at once will not be “ok” at all and either this chap will not report for duty or if he does, will not hang around for long because he will not be getting what he’s after. If he doesn’t report for duty then I’ll know that he’s probably just fishing around, and if he does but doesn’t stay long, he’s got a lot of growing up to do. Whatever it is, such candidates can become quite the nuisance.

We have also been facing the problem of candidates repudiating our offer after signing the employment contract but before starting work. The usual excuse for this is that their present employers have made them better offers. Which is all unprincipled and insincere to me.

I was told by the Labour Office that they cannot take up claims for compensation from employers in such circumstances. Whereas in most cases the amount is too small for a civil recovery action where it’ll just waste time and more money. So what’s an employer to do? Nothing left but to blacklist these candidates in Jobstreet. Which isn’t really much of reparation for all the trouble it took to hire them.

Why is being responsible so difficult for some people?