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Expect the unexpected

#1 Expect the unexpected
02/12/2009 06:46


Hi All

I signed a contract with a small software development company and am pretty happy with the offer and work. I went through an agency, the lady really pushed me to sign. She wanted the answer the next day!

Well, since then I got two other offers at big companies e.g Oracle, SAP, ACN.

Just wondering whether I am obligated to join the company since I signed the contract or can I decline it. From the agency terms and conditions it states that if you reject the offer once signing the contract you are liable to pay between 15 - 20% of your annual CTC for expenses incurred by them.

Is this fair? I mean, I didn't know a better offer would come after I signed the first contract and I only am starting mid Jan.

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#2 RE: Expect the unexpected
02/12/2009 08:12

Anon to Mojo (#1)

There are several wannabe lawyers on here who will categorically state that "If you haven't physically stepped onto the premises after signing the contract, it's not legally valid and you can cancel it at any time". Of course, this is baloney and there is no such legal principle. You have either signed a contract and it is valid, or you have not.

Now, as far as your new employment goes, you can probably get away with just phoning them up and saying you have changed your mind. They won't be happy, and you will burn bridges, but that's life. They'll probably just curse you a few times, then phone up their number 2 and give them the offer instead.

The agent, however, will be like a bulldog with his jaws firmly clamped around your ankle. He was within a hair's width of getting his fee... and dammit he's not gonna let that go! He may well forget what's in the small print of the agency terms and conditions. He may well even just be really annoyed and let it go. But it's quite possible he'll insist that a contract has been formed, and part of that contract states that you have to pay 15-20% if you renege on the deal (a clause which you voluntarily signed, I assume).

I figure you need to have a polite but firm chat with the agent and see how the land lies before making any big decisions. If it's just about the money, can you get the small company to pay you a bit more now you have the likes of Oracle after you?

Disclaimer: The above is my opinion only and is NOT legal advice.

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#3 RE: Expect the unexpected
02/12/2009 08:14

Anon to Anon (#2)

Another possibility, if you really had to, is to give in your notice the day you start and move back your starting date with the other company a little bit. No sane employer would actually want you there in that situation.

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#4 RE: Expect the unexpected
02/12/2009 10:29

your mum to Anon (#3)

"I went through an agency, the lady really pushed me to sign. She wanted the answer the next day!"

Muppet! Grow up and stop being pushed around and you won't end up in situations like this!

A contract is a contract is a contract (as per 1st reply) - suggest you talk nicely to all parties and see how nice they may or may not be back to you before making a decision. The recruiter may not be as nice if their fee depends on it but it all comes down to risk in the end....what is the risk the recruiter will go past a few nasty emails or phone calls and actually take you to court? (remember its their time and effort they will be wasting while chasing this - just how big is their potential fee in relation to this effort - how parasitic/lazy are they - you need to decide that for yourself!)

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#5 RE: Expect the unexpected
02/12/2009 18:04

Mojo to your mum (#4)

Thank you anon. That was a good expression of thoughts. It also crossed my mind to hand in my resignation on the first day but that's not moral I would think.

@mom - you do sound like my mom hey. Dweeb I had to either give a yes or no answer within two days and due to the economic situation I decided positive. I think the best thing would be to talk to the employer directly and explain to him the situation i am in. He seems pretty for the recruiter. She sounds like a she man on steroids. Like a vampire wanting to suck the blood out of me...I can go on. Just wanted to know if anyone been in a similar situation and whats actions you took

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#6 RE: Expect the unexpected
03/12/2009 20:37

your mum to Mojo (#5)

"I had to either give a yes or no answer within two days"

No you didn't! Did someone have a gun to your head? So the recruitment consultant was pushy - now there's a surprise!

You also had 2 other applications still in process and were successful in both (well done!) but you gave in too soon / were afraid the employer would withdraw the offer within 2 days! Get real - you even say "he seems pretty decent" - if someone wants you they'll wait a bit more than 2 days rather than go through the recruitment process again or take the 2nd best choice - let me guess, you were given the ultimatum on a Friday and went in on Sunday to sign up!!

Sorry son - you'd better man up or I'm sending you to bed without any cocoa! And just wait 'til I tell your dad what a wimp you are...

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