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More and more companies are starting to cancel job offers

Companies in several different sectors are canceling job offers they made just months ago, a sign that the tightest job market in decades could be showing cracks.

Companies including Twitter Inc.

real estate brokerage Redfin Corp.

and Coinbase Global Inc cryptocurrency exchange.

have canceled offers in recent weeks. Employers in other pockets of the economy are also pulling offers, including in insurance, retail marketing, consultancy and recruitment services.

At the same time, many companies reported a more cautious hiring approach. Netflix Inc..

Interactive Peloton Inc.

Carvana Co..

and others have announced layoffs. Tech giants such as Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. and Uber Technologies have warned they will backtrack on hiring plans.

The labor market remains solid overall, with the unemployment rate at 3.6%, close to the half-century low it reached at the start of 2020.

But these signs of hiring caution show executives are having a harder time predicting the economy’s next 12 months, hiring managers and recruiters say. When a company revokes a job offer, it indicates that a company’s business outlook has changed so rapidly that it must cancel hiring plans that were made sometimes weeks earlier.

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, like it was a job I had been planning for months and was really counting on,” said Franco Salinas, 24, who learned this month that a data analyst position he planned to start in July had been cut. “It just made me realize how fragile things are.”

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Some recruiters note that there has not been a large wave of canceled job offers. At the same time, employers are still unable to find enough workers for many types of jobs.

Still, “going from zero to a fairly small amount seems like a big increase,” said Brian Kropp, vice president of human resources research for the consulting firm Gartner.

He said rescinding a job offer was almost unheard of six months ago. “If we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that things can change quickly,” he said.

Mr. Salinas is one of many recent university graduates who found employment while completing his studies. The information technology consulting firm Turnberry Solutions offered him a job as a data analyst based in Minneapolis in October. An international student from Peru, he said he forwarded other offers to accept Turnberry’s. Having obtained the employer-sponsored visa required to stay in the country, he felt safe signing a lease and making other plans.

The company called to rescind the offer this month. A Turnberry spokeswoman confirmed that two data analyst offers had been rescinded, although the company says it is still hiring for other skills.

Raleigh Burke took a new position at an insurance brokerage in Los Angeles, gave her old job notice, and then her offer was rescinded.


Photo:

Raleigh Burke

“We don’t take the decision to cancel the offers lightly,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the company had paid the two consultants two months’ rent to help them compensate. “We have to periodically adjust the skills we bring to bear according to the evolution of our customers’ demand.”

Other companies are attributing the rescinded job offers to the ripple effects of a slowdown in the tech industry, including the company that made Jenna Radwan an offer in May. He canceled the offer two weeks before its start date in June.

Hirect, a chat-based app focused on tech recruiting, had enticed the 21-year-old with a starting salary of $80,000, plus the promise of an uncapped minimum commission of $195,000 and the ability to set their own schedule. Ms Radwan felt confident enough to turn down three more jobs and opt out of three more interview processes, she said.

“They gave me a strict deadline, so I was like, ‘I’m just going to go ahead and take this and go with my gut,'” she said.

As she prepared to start, the recruiter emailed her: Hirect was withdrawing the offer and freezing the hiring due to drastic and unforeseen changes in market conditions.

“We have not been immune to these recent challenges, nor to the significant belt-tightening underway in our industry,” a Hirect spokesperson said of a recent drop in hiring. technologies which led the company to cancel two job offers.

Ms. Radwan is proceeding more cautiously in her new search for a job in marketing, sales or account management. She plans to complete every hiring process before accepting an offer, even if that means asking for more time to decide, she said.

“I didn’t even know this kind of thing could happen,” she said.

Other abandoned job seekers say they also approach their new searches differently. Raleigh Burke took a job as a claims analyst at a Los Angeles-based insurance brokerage in May, gave her old job the same day off, then flew to Hawaii to rest. By the time she got home, her offer had evaporated without explanation. She was surprised, she said, because she had been told she was the best candidate.

Steven Pope has been told his job offer at a retail marketing firm has been rescinded because a planned round of funding has been delayed.


Photo:

Steven Pope

Ms Burke, 35, had turned down an offer from another company to accept this one. “So what do I do, go with my tail between my legs and crawl back?” she says. The next time she changes jobs, she said she might not quit until she receives a laptop from the new company or begins her onboarding process.

For now, many hiring managers say hiring new hires remains very competitive. A Gartner survey of more than 350 HR executives in late May found that about 50% believed competition for talent would increase over the next six months. Nearly two-thirds said they had made no changes to their hiring practices or HR budgets in response to economic volatility.

While startups, ad-tech companies and those in pre-IPOs might be less stable right now, it’s still a job candidate market, Keith said. Feinberg, senior vice president of professional recruiting firm Robert Half. Still, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if job seekers assessed some opportunities more cautiously than a few months ago.

Steven Pope, 32, was supposed to start a new job as chief data officer for a retail marketing firm after Memorial Day weekend. Instead, he’s on the hunt for a job again after his start date was put on hold indefinitely. The company told him that a planned funding round had been delayed, he said.

Mr Pope is now taking as many interviews as possible, he said. He’s also rethinking the types of opportunities he’s willing to consider.

“I look at how these companies are supported or paid for,” he says, adding that his tech friends are starting to prioritize differently in their own research. “I see there is already a small change where safety is going to come before the competition.”

Write to Katherine Bindley at katie.bindley@wsj.com and Angela Yang at angela.yang@wsj.com

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