It happens.   The deal that blows up.  In this case, it was the owner that got the jitters over the weekend.   How to react?

Here's the exchange from Jerry Albright's Recruiters who actually make placements:

N: In need of advice. I had a verbal offer go out on Friday candidate accepts over the weekend. I get a call from the VP that now the position is on hold and the owner will not sign off on a new employee. The VP still wants to hire him but we now do not have a time frame. I am not happy about what the candidates perception will be of me or the company. How would you handle this? Please advise.

Mariss: I would take the blame for it so that he still wants to work for the company...I would say it was miscommunication (on my part) due to someone being out of office for the Holidays and that you called him with verbal but usually wait for written.. Since...See More

Jerr: I would't make up a story like this.

Marissa: ok, bad idea then..I don't know what to do but was thinking if he knows the company extended the offer and then pulled he could take it personal and not ever work for them. I guess truth is best..HR told you to extend offer but Owner had not signed off on it yet and now you found out Owner wants to wait...Blame HR

Garick: Truth always works. but how do you best cushion it? Send a box of donuts? Starbucks gift card?

Sarah: disagree with being dishonest...the candidate will smell it out of you. Be honest. Straight forward. Let your candidate know you will do everything you can; however, the reality is that business needs can change (we all know this) and sometimes ve...See More

Truth is HR pushed me to make the verbal!

ChrisMaybe HR should make a phone call

N: I hate to admit this but him being mad at the company I think is better than him thinking I screwed up. It's a small industry and I have never had to pull back a offer...

Sara: I think it IS a reflection of the company.

Nanette Ault Foster I have worked with them for 10 years and had many successful placements. Nothing like this has ever happened before.

Sar: Do you feel confident the VP doesn't have another candidate?

N: 100% confident he is as befuddled as I am to the change. It came from the owner.

Sarah: Well if you feel they are acting in their best interests then it's probably better this happen now than two weeks into the job. Maybe they are having mass layoffs?

N: I agree to up root someone and then a layoff would be horrible indeed.

 Amy: you have to be honest... if you start spinning tales about people being OOF, misconceptions, etc it's YOUR integrity that would be compromised. Maybe not full transparency, but you do have to be honest. Could be HR was trying to get ahead of HC pull back (make the offer now!) but whatever it is, you have to tell the truth. As much and as professionally as you can.

 Could also be the owner has issues w/ the VP and doesn't want him or her making any hiring decisions right now... would be interesting to see if there are any changes in THAT spot in the near future!

Marissa: I had an offer pulled by VP of sales once after I extended it with HR approval. It was my best client and I only took the blame because I didn't want the candidate making a huge problem, contacting the client directly etc...He wasn't working though so it wasn't like he resigned for this new offer that he didn't have...I couldn't tell him the truth because truth was client heard bad things about him.

Jeff: The company should have done their due diligence before an offer is made. After the offer goes out, legal issues can come up and you don't want to get caught up in that.

Michael: Honesty is the best policy to keep the relationship between you and candidate. As for the company, I would still charge them for the placement. The way it went down sounds very fishy

Ray: Candidly and honestly tell the whole truth. So much of life is timing. Additionally, if it reopens and the candidate remains interested the candidate is now far better prepared to understand the decision making processes of companies senior leadership. That insight, might just prove to be - invaluable.

Steve: Complete honesty with candidate. And market the shit out of him until I placed him

Ashie: Complete transparency with the candidate is the only way to go. Every time you do business with this company, ask if the client has the owner's sign off. What a waste of time for you. So sorry

Michael: Can't go wrong with the truth. If you're honest, there's a better chance of the candidate wanting to work there when the freeze is over. A meeting/coffee with the VP or hiring manager at well timed intervals should also help vs NO communication or communication with just the recruiter.